Développement durable, Environnement, Faune et Parcs
Home Site Map Québec Portal E-Mail Search About the site Français

The Pesticides Management Code

Environmental protection and health in pest management

Updating: August 2017

Others documents

The Pesticides Management Code introduces regulations controlling the storage, sale and use of pesticides. It promotes an approach aimed at better prevention of health risks posed by these products, particularly to children and the environment.

Pesticides are commonly used to combat insects and rodents. Nearly 90 percent of the pesticides used in the pest control sector are applied to eliminate pests. In 2010, total pesticide sales in this sector accounted for approximately 15,000 kilograms of active ingredients. Commercial extermination products are characterized by their effectiveness in very small doses. Generally speaking, active ingredient concentrations are very low (0.005 to 0.5%), particularly in rodenticides.

Pesticides can pose a risk to human health, as well as contaminate water, air, soil and property. Thus, pesticide applications to eliminate harmful organisms both in and outdoors, notably by agri-food institutions and public or residential buildings are cause for concern. Therefore, it is important to reduce pesticide use and implement integrated pest management as the most appropriate combination of strategies for preventing, eliminating or controlling harmful organisms.

The effectiveness of integrated pest management depends essentially on information related to the location and evolution of pest populations, made available through monitoring methods such as visual observations, trap monitoring systems, etc. Data related to pest populations, ambient conditions and location background facilitate the exterminators’ ability to diagnose a problem and choose the best intervention strategy. Adequate hygiene conditions applied both inside and outside buildings is a fundamental step towards minimizing food sources for harmful organisms. Maisons  - Photo : Pierre Gignac, © Le Québec en images, CCDMD



The Pesticides Management Code and you

These new regulations affect the storage, preparation and application of pesticides in the pest control sector. Permit and certificate holders targeted by the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides must comply with the regulations of the Code. These include:

  • holders of a Class C “Remunerated Work,” Subclass C5 “Application of Class 1 to Class 4 Pesticides for Extermination” permit;

  • holders of a Class D “Non-Remunerated Work,” Subclass D5 “Application of Class 1 to Class 3 Pesticides for Extermination” permit;

  • holders of a Class CD “Application of Pesticides,” Subclass CD5 “Application for Extermination” certificate.

Pesticide classifications are established according to the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides. They differ from the federal classifications.

FEDERAL CLASSIFICATION

QUÉBEC CLASSIFICATION

Pesticides for restricted use

Classes 1 and 2
Pesticides for commercial, agricultural or industrial use Class 3
Pesticides for domestic use Classes 4 and 5

Haut

Storage regulations

  • Class 1 to Class 4 pesticides must be stored in premises where the ambient conditions are not likely to alter the product or its container, and in such a manner that its contents are not released into the environment.
  • It is prohibited to store Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 pesticides within a flood area that is mapped or identified in a development plan or a metropolitan land use planning and development plan or in a municipal zoning by-law.

- Flood area having a flood recurrence interval of 0 to 20 years

It is prohibited to store pesticides in this area.

Pesticides must be stored on such premises only if they are placed higher than the highest level reached by water in a 100-year interval flood, failing which the storage site must be moved outside the flood area.

- Flood area having a flood recurrence interval of 20 to 100 years

It is prohibited to store pesticides in this area, except under the following conditions:

  • the quantity of stored pesticides is less than 100 litres or 100 kilograms;
  • the quantity of stored pesticides is equal to or greater than 100 litres or 100 kilograms and the storage time is less than 15 consecutive days;
  • the pesticides are stored higher than the highest level reached by water in a 100-year interval flood.

Pesticides must be stored on such premises only if one of the above-mentioned conditions applies, failing which the storage site must be moved outside the flood area.

  • Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 unprepared or undiluted pesticides must be stored in premises having a containment works. A containment works is a floor, platform or watertight basin built so as to contain and allow for the complete recovery of any pesticide leak or spillage.

  • A person who stores unprepared or undiluted pesticides in quantities equal to or greater than 1,000 litres or 1,000 kilograms must immediately notify Urgence-Environnement in the event of pesticide fire, and specify at that time the nature of the stored pesticides and the approximate quantity stored on the premises.

  • A person who stores Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 pesticides must have on the premises adequate equipment and material capable of stopping any leak or release of pesticides and, if required, of cleaning the premises. In the event of a leak or release of pesticides, the person must immediately take measures to stop the leak or release and clean the premises.

  • A sign indicating the list of certain services (e.g., the Centre anti-poison du Québec) and their telephone numbers must be posted in a conspicuous place near the entrance to the storage premises.

  • A civil liability insurance contract for damage to the environment is required for premises with a storage capacity greater than 10,000 litres or 10,000 kilograms for Class 1 to Class 4 unprepared or undiluted pesticides. The contract must include a provision under which the insurer undertakes to notify the concerned Regional Office of the Ministère within 48 hours following the revocation, cancellation, termination or modification of the insurance contract coverage.

Haut

Preparation and application regulations

  • The preparation of Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 pesticides as well as the loading and unloading of a sprayer containing such pesticides must be carried out in a containment works. For example, use a plastic container to hold the sprayer for preparing the spray mixture.

  • The water supply system used in pesticide preparation must be designed to prevent pesticide backflow to the water supply source (anti-backflow system).

  • Equipment used for the application, loading or unloading of pesticides must be in good working order and be adapted to the type of work to be done.

  • Adequate equipment and material must be available on premises where pesticides are loaded or prepared capable of stopping any leak or release of pesticides and, if required, of cleaning the premises. In the event of such a leak or release, measures must immediately be taken to stop the leak or release and clean the premises. The person loading or preparing the pesticides must remain on site throughout the operations.

  • The preparation and application of any pesticide must be carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions appearing on the label. Where the instructions and a provision of the Pesticides Management Code are inconsistent, the more restrictive of the two applies.

  • The use of strychnine and DDT is prohibited.

  • Birdseed treated with an avicide and left for harmful birds must be placed in a feeder equipped with a device preventing the wind from carrying the seed away. Bird feeders should be clearly labelled with the avicide’s name, the permit holder’s name, address and telephone number, as well as the telephone number of the Centre anti-poison du Québec.

  • Pesticide aerosol treatments with a fogger in a building used as a dwelling are prohibited; however, this restriction does not apply to pressurized carboys.

  • A person applying a pesticide must ensure that:

    • no person other than a person participating in the application is present on the application premises or is exposed to the pesticide;
    • all necessary measures are taken to avoid contaminating a surface or object that must not be treated;
    • no pet is exposed to the pesticide;
    • all openings through which pesticides may infiltrate into a building have been closed when applying pesticides outside a building.
  • A regulatory sign must be displayed following the application of pesticides on a lawn or paved surface outside a building.
  • The regulatory sign must be in clear sight and display a warning indicating not to touch the treated surfaces for 24 hours after application. It must also indicate the area treated, the date and time of application, the active ingredient used, the registration number of the pesticide, and the name, address and phone number of the permit or certificate holders.

Moreover, when application work includes the exclusive use of biopesticides or pesticides containing one of the active ingredients listed in Schedule II, the circle and slash on the pictogram may be either red or yellow.

 

Haut

Specific regulations in certains locations

It is prohibited to apply certain pesticides (active ingredients listed in Schedule I of the Pesticides Management Code) on lawns :

  • Of private and commercial land
  • Of State, municipal or metropolitan community land
  • Of a private or public institution offering a college or university education
  • Of a health and social services institution
  • On property where sports, recreational, cultural or artistic activities are held for children under 14 years of age. (For example, it is prohibited to treat ant nests on municipal green space with carbaryl.)
To obtain a list

For childcare centres and schools

Only biopesticides or pesticides containing an active ingredient listed in Schedule II of the Pesticides Management Code may be applied inside or outside childcare centres, daycare centres, home childcare residences governed by the Educational Childcare Act, private and public preschools, primary schools and secondary schools.

  • It is prohibited to apply a biopesticide or pesticide containing an active ingredient listed in Schedule II during the establishment’s care, teaching or activity periods that take place inside or outside the establishment.
  • A minimum eight-hour waiting period must be respected before services or activities resume in areas treated.
  • If biopesticides or any active ingredient listed in Schedule II prove ineffective over a period of at least seven days following application, cyfluthrin may be used to control or destroy flying insects, crawling insects, food insects and wood insects under the following conditions:
  • only exterminators holding a C5 permit from the Ministère can apply this ingredient;
  • at least 24 hours before application, the administration of the establishment must be notified of the reasons for applying the active ingredient, the name of the pesticide and the active ingredient to be applied, the registration number of the pesticide and the proposed date and time of application;
  • the application must be followed by a period of at least 12 hours before services or activities resume in premises treated with cyfluthrin.
  • For specific needs, the application of certain other products is also permitted under the first two conditions listed above, for instance:
  • resmethrin to destroy wasps’, hornets’ or bees’ nests;
  • bromadiolone in combination with Bitrex (denatonium benzoate) and bromethalin (with Bitrex) to control rodents (rats, mice). These rodenticides must be used in solid block form and placed in a locked trap to prevent any human contact. Rodenticides must be used only as a last resort on these premises since several types of efficient traps can be acquired for rodent control purposes. Above all, rodent food sources must be eliminated, and rodent access routes uncovered and blocked.

The next table shows actives ingredients on schedules I and II of the Pesticides Management Code).

Schedule I of the Pesticides Management Code
(
Active ingredients prohibited on certain green spaces
)

Category of pesticides

Active ingredients

Insecticides

Carbaryl
Dicofol
Malathion

Fungicides

Benomyl
Captan
Chlorothalonil
Iprodione
Quintozene
Thiophanate-methyl

Herbicides

2,4-D (present as sodium salt)
2,4-D (present as ester)
2,4-D (present as acid)
2,4-D (present as amine salt)
Chlorthal dimethyl
MCPA (present as ester)
MCPA (present as amine salt)
MCPA (present as potassium or sodium salt)
Mecoprop (present as acid)
Mecoprop (present as amine salt)
Mecoprop (present as potassium or sodium salt)

NB: Active Ingredient Trade Names of products prohibited on certain green spaces:

  • Class 3 products (commercial) (French)
  • Class 4 products (domestic) (French)

Schedule II of the Pesticides Management Code*
Active ngredients allowed inside and outside establishments governed by the Educational Childcare Act, as well as preschools, primary schools and secondary schools

Category of pesticides

Active ingredients

Insecticides

Acetamiprid
Boric acid
Borax
Silicon dioxide (diatomaceous earth)
Methoprene
Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate
Ferrous phosphide
Insecticide soap
Spinosad

Fungicides

Sulfur
Calcium sulfide or calcium polysulfide

Herbicides

Acetic acid
Mixture of capric and pelargonic acids
Herbicide soap
* Biopesticides that are registered as such by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency are to be added to this list.

NB: Active Ingredient Trade Names of products allowed* inside and outside establishments governed by the Act respecting childcare centres and childcare services, as well as preschools, primary schools and secondary schools:

A quick reminder

Following reassessments by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, indoor and lawn applications of products containing chlorpyrifos and diazinon have been banned.

Haut

Required Application Distances

The regulations stipulate application distances to be respected from sensitive elements, watercourses, bodies of water and water catchment works.

  •  A watercourse or body of water includes streams, small and large rivers, lakes, intermittent watercourses, ponds, marshes, swamps and peat bogs, and excludes ditches, municipal aerated ponds and artificial lakes without any outlet.

The relative distance from a watercourse is measured from the high water mark of the watercourse. An easy way to establish the high water mark is to determine the place where there is a change from a predominance of aquatic plants to a predominance of terrestrial plants. Thus the high water mark corresponds to the place where nature itself has established this point of balance between aquatic and terrestrial vegetation.

  • A catchment works includes facilities used for the production of spring water or mineral water, the supply of a waterworks, catchment works designed for surface water intake for water intended for human consumption or any other groundwater catchment works.

The following table summarizes the application distances to be respected according to the premises where storage, preparation and application activities take place.

If someone you know becomes ill from pesticides

Guide the person to a well-ventilated area and ask him/her to lie down on his/her side.

Then contact the Centre anti-poison du Québec, at 1 800 463-5060 (toll free telephone emergency, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or in the Québec City area (local call) at (418) 656-8090, and follow their instructions to the letter. If the person’s condition appears serious, go to the hospital immediately, making sure to bring the label or the name and registration number of the product in question.

The information provided in this document is in no way meant to replace the full official text of the Pesticides Management Code. The full text is published in the March 19, 2003, edition of the Gazette officielle of Publications du Québec.

Other link

Pest Management Regulatory Angency (PMRA) - Fact Sheets

“Avoid pesticides… a natural thing to do.”


Return to the top