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Pesticide Use

Cosmetic Pesticide Use

The District of North Saanich is proud of its achievements to reduce the use of pesticides on municipal property and virtually no pesticides are used. The District follows Ministry of Environment pest management practices, which allows for pesticide applications on public land, providing all other options are explored and only then as a last resort. Through the pest management process, the District has been able to eliminate pesticide use for over a decade.

Pesticide Definition

Pesticide is the general term for any substance designed to eliminate undesired insects, weeds, rodents, fungi, bacteria and other organisms. Pesticides come in many forms and can be categorized as insecticides (for insects), herbicides (for weeds), and fungicides (for fungal diseases).
To determine if a product is a pesticide check the label. Any product that has a Pest Control Product or PCP number near the list of ingredients is a pesticide.
The District of North Saanich encourages property owners to reduce or eliminate the cosmetic use of pesticides on their properties.

Alternatives to Pesticides

What are the alternatives?

Prior to the 1940s, synthetic pesticides did not exist, and people used preventative measures to cultivate healthy and safe landscapes. Many of those time-tested methods are still appropriate today. Pesticide alternatives generally involve cultural, biological and/or mechanical methods to control unwanted organisms.

Cultural Control

Use gardening techniques that encourage vigorous plant growth and discourage pests.

Choose pest-resistant plants for your garden. There are many beautiful native plants in our area that provide habitat for wildlife and are naturally resistant to local pests.

Plant a variety of species and rotate crops regularly. Try companion-planting as natural pest deterrence (e.g. marigolds will deter a variety of insects).

Manage soil fertility, watering, and drainage in your yard and garden to provide optimal growing conditions for your plants. Healthy plants are naturally more resistant to pests.

Biological Control

Living organisms such as predatory (e.g. ladybugs for aphid control) and parasitic insects, and beneficial nematodes can be used to control unwanted garden pests. Contact your local plant nursery for more information.
Protect and attract beneficial insects, birds, and bats into your garden by planting native plants and installing bird nesting boxes and bat houses in your yard.

Mechanical Control

Reduce pest habitat in your yard by removing debris, pots, boards, and other objects where slugs and snails like to hide. Create barriers to these molluscs with crushed eggshells, oyster shells and other prickly material. Remove insects on plants by hand-crushing or using a forceful spray of water. Reduce weed growth by mulching between plants or spreading cardboard or layers of newspaper between rows in the garden.

Cloth crop covers (floating row covers) are another effective means of keeping pests away from plants, while still allowing light and moisture through.

Hand-pulling of weeds, preferably before they go to seed, is an effective and safe method of control. Large persistent weeds such as thistles can also be killed by pouring boiling water on the cut stalks.
Avoid watering your garden with an overhead sprinkler in the evening – this is a major cause of mildew on sensitive plants.

Natural Pest Control Products
There are several insecticidal soaps available commercially that can be safely sprayed on plants to control harmful insects. Alternatively, fungicides can be made at home from natural substances, and used to control black spot on roses, blight on tomatoes, and mildew and rusts on other plants. Here are a couple of examples:

  • 1 tablespoon each of baking soda and horticultural oil diluted in 4 litres of water; spray on leaves.
  • Use a 50/50 mixture of milk and water and thoroughly spray plants every 3 to 4 days at first sign of mildew or use weekly as a preventative measure.

Some information courtesy of District of Saanich

Related Links

How to Dispose of Pesticides

Free Pesticide Drop-off Locations – there is no charge for dropping off leftover pesticides at the following depots:

Hartland Landfill
Hartland Landfill Website

1 Hartland Avenue, access from W. Saanich Rd
Tel: 250-360-3030

Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday 7:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Ellice Recycle
Ellice Recycle Website

524 David Street
Tel: 250-386-4342

Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

What NOT to do

  • Never flush pesticides down your toilet, sink, or drain or pour them down storm drains. These chemicals harm septic systems and contaminate the natural environment.
  • Do not put pesticides into the garbage, or bury them. Chemicals will eventually leach out of the landfill, or your backyard, and contaminate the natural environment.

Pesticide Label Information

Resources

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