Buying pest control products online
When buying pest control products (also known as pesticides) online, make sure you buy only pesticides that are registered for use in Canada.
On this page
- What you need to know before buying pesticides online
- How to identify a registered pesticide
- Health Canada’s role
What you need to know before buying pesticides online
Pesticides are increasingly available online. Types of pesticides that are becoming more commonly available include:
- insect and tick repellents, including treated clothing
- UV-emitting and ozone-generating devices
When buying pesticides online, it’s important to be well informed. This is especially important if you’re buying from online platforms that resell products or sell products from third-party vendors. A professional-looking website does not ensure that the applicable Health Canada legislation and regulations for selling pesticides online are followed.
You need to make sure that you’re purchasing a product that’s registered by Health Canada. There are risks associated with unregistered products.
Unregistered pesticides may pose the following risks:
- They may contain unknown, ineffective or dangerous ingredients.
- for example, unregistered tick and mosquito repellents may not protect you, leaving you vulnerable to insect bites that can cause diseases such as Lyme disease and West Nile Virus.
- The product labels and instructions for use may be incomplete, which can increase the risk of accidental misuse or injury.
- The list of ingredients may be incorrect or incomplete.
- The product may make false or misleading claims.
- for example, unregistered UV-emitting and ozone-generating devices claiming to kill 99.9% of disease-causing micro-organisms (including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19).
- Improper packaging may increase the risk of unsafe exposure.
- The products may be counterfeit.
How to identify a registered pesticide
Before buying a pesticide, read the label.
You can recognize a pest control product registered by Health Canada by the registration number on the label. For example:
- Reg. No. 00000 P.C.P. Act
- Registration No. 00000 Pest Control Products Act
You can check the Pesticide Label Search Database to see if it’s registered for use in Canada. This database includes full labels. You can search registered labels by the registration number or product name.
The label of a pest control product registered in Canada also indicates:
- the regulatory classification to which the pesticide belongs (domestic, commercial or restricted)
- domestic pesticides are intended for use in and around homes
- your province or territory may have additional restrictions
- check that you’re allowed to use the pesticide
- the name of the pest to be controlled
- the treatment location (for example, on people or pets, indoor, outdoor, garden use)
Do not open or use a pesticide if the packaging appears damaged or looks as if it’s been tampered with. Instead, return it and report it to the vendor. If returning the product is not an option, contact your local city or town officials for information on how to dispose of household hazardous waste.
To know what to do in case of an incident, please visit our page on using pesticides safely.
Health Canada’s role
In Canada, only registered pesticides that have been assessed by Health Canada under the Pest Control Products Act for their safety and effectiveness are permitted for sale and use.
Before a pesticide can be authorized, Health Canada scientists:
- determine if it can be used safely without harming people and the environment
- assess if it’s effective for its stated purpose
To ensure that pesticides on the Canadian market continue to meet the latest scientific standards, pesticides are re-evaluated on an ongoing basis.
It’s a violation of the Pest Control Products Act to buy and use unregistered pesticides. Violators may be subject to enforcement action.
For more information, please visit our page on compliance and enforcement of pesticides.
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