For the Public
If not properly managed, pests can affect our quality of life in many different ways. Pests can be harmful to public health and the environment as well as create significant negative impacts on the economy if they are not efficiently controlled. When non-pesticide methods to prevent or control pest infestations are unsuccessful, individuals and professionals often turn to pesticides.
Each pesticide is developed to control, destroy or inhibit the activities of a specific pest. Some pesticide products are available for domestic use, while a larger number are available for agricultural, or commercial and industrial uses. All pesticide products are highly regulated at all levels of government.
Our role is to determine if proposed pesticides can be used safely when label directions are followed and will be effective for their intended use. If there is reasonable certainty from scientific evaluation that no harm to human health, future generations or the environment will result from exposure to or use of a pesticide, its registration for use in Canada will be approved.
Once on the market, we monitor their use through a series of education, compliance and enforcement programs. Pesticides are also reviewed every fifteen years or sooner as new information is discovered and as science evolves. We also require companies to report any incident they receive about their products to us, just as we encourage you to report any incidents to these companies or through the Incident Reporting Program.
Pesticides are regulated by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), the branch of Health Canada that administers the Pest Control Products Act on behalf of the Minister of Health.
To encourage the judicious use of pesticides, we promote various methods to effectively control pests and prevent infestations. In order to reduce or eliminate the need for pesticide use, you can:
- Ask yourself: Do I really have a pest problem?
- Properly identify the pest and understand its behaviour;
- Modify the physical environment to make it less attractive to pests; and,
- Modify the physical environment to altogether repel the pest.
If you choose to use pesticides, be sure to read the label and follow the use instructions.
Consult the Healthy Canadians website to find out how to use pesticides safely, effectively control common household and garden pests, clean your swimming pool and spa, maintain a healthy lawn and obtain more information on insect repellents.
Need more information?
We invite you to consult our fact sheets that describe our role, regulations, partnerships and other related topics.
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