Pesticide Bylaw

What You Need to Know About Pesticide Use

Cutting back on pesticides required two things.

  1. A bylaw that spells out what you can and cannot use and when and where you can use it.
  2. An explanation of why cutting back is vital and what safe alternatives you have.

We have a bylaw in Saanich that restricts pesticide use. You’ll find more resources and information about safe and effective pesticide alternatives below.

Also, an overlooked way to reduce pesticide use is by reducing lawn size.

Smaller lawns

  • Use less water.
  • Reduce fertilizer use.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions — no mowing means no lawnmowers.

The Bylaw

We have had our pesticide bylaw since 2010. It regulates that “no person may apply or otherwise use pesticides for the purpose of maintaining” the following:

  • Outdoor trees
  • Shrubs
  • Flowers
  • Ornamental plants
  • Turf

The bylaw applies to both private and public lands. Public land is owned by the municipality. Private land is land used for residential purposes. 


There are three main exemptions to the pesticide bylaw.

Exemption 1 — Permitted Pesticides

What are some pesticides I can use?
  • Acetic acid — vinegar-based products like Path Clear.
  • Corn gluten meal — use this natural herbicide for turf weeds.
  • Methoprene — an insect growth regulator.
  • Botanically derived pesticides — pyrethrins and rotenone.
  • Insect bait stations and pheromones.
  • Insecticidal or herbicidal soaps.
  • Mineral oils.
  • Sulphurs, ferrous sulphate — moss killer.
  • See the full list of permitted pesticides in Schedule A of the bylaw [PDF - 37 KB
Which pesticides are restricted?

You are restricted in the general use of traditional products containing synthetic chemicals. This includes many common products.

  • Glyphosate — Roundup, Sidekick, and many more.
  • 2,4-D — Weed n’ Feed, Killex etc.
  • Malathion.
  • Carbaryl — Sevin.
  • Diazinon. 

Remember, the above example product names are only a sample of popular brands that are not on the permitted list. Please check the ingredients of your product for their chemical content.

Exemption 2 — Select Pest Management

The bylaw does not apply if you’re managing certain pests.

Qualifying Pests
  • Transmit human diseases;
  • Have an impact on agriculture or forestry;
  • Are on or inside buildings;
  • Are on a parcel of land that is used solely for institutional, industrial or commercial purposes. Golf courses, for example.
  • Are on residential areas of farms. 

Exemption 3 — Public Land

The bylaw authorizes us to apply pesticides on public land owned or held by the District of Saanich. However, we must follow the Integrated Pest Management Policy to ensure there are no other options.