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revised June 15, 2009

Using Pesticides

The Province has banned the use and sale of over 250 pesticides in Ontario. There are still some pesticides that you can buy and use with some restriction. If you have pesticides in your home that you want to get rid of, you can dispose of them for free at one of Peelís Community Recycling Centres. If you want to know more about how to use pesticides safely read on.

Before you purchase a pesticide product

  • Be sure that the pesticide is the right one for the type of pest(s) you have.
  • Be sure to carefully read the label directions and safety precautions. The label must include not only the name of the pesticide, but also information on handling and first aid.
  • Be sure you're buying only the recommended amount you need to treat your specific pest problem.


If you use a pesticide

Read and follow all label directions and precautions for:

  • preparation
  • handling
  • application
  • storage and disposal

Pesticides can be tracked into the home. If you do use pesticides, avoid the treated area for a couple of days. Tracking pesticides into your home can be prevented by taking your shoes off at the door and using entry mats.


When you apply the pesticide

Follow these 'do's' and 'don'ts' when you apply a pesticide:


  • Only apply the pesticide when and where the pest is present.
  • Wear gloves.
  • Wear protective clothing if the label recommends it.


  • Mix pesticides unless otherwise indicated on the label.
  • Eat, drink or smoke when applying pesticides.
  • Spray pesticides if there's even a moderate amount of wind.
  • Leave your windows open if the pesticide must be applied by a spray. Drift can still occur, even on non-windy days.


Protecting your children and pets

Protect your children and pets from pesticide poisoning by:

  • Keeping them away from the mixing and treated areas during and several hours after application.
  • Removing or covering food, dishes, utensils, pet food, water dishes, fish ponds, bird baths, and children's toys before spraying.
  • Never placing rodent baits where children or pets might find them.


Protecting your surroundings

To protect your surroundings from pesticide poisoning:

  • Don't use pesticides near waterways, wells or environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Don't walk on carpets after walking on treated lawns. (A large proportion of pesticide residues can linger in carpets and household dust for a year or more.)
  • Clean yourself and the sprayer thoroughly when you are finished.


Minimizing the amount you use

Minimize the amount of pesticides you use by:

  • Timing your applications correctly and avoiding the need for repeat treatments. (For example, if the pest is nocturnal (comes out at night), then you should apply the pesticide only in the evening.)
  • Using spot treatments rather than spraying randomly throughout your lawn or garden.
  • Treating only the problem area or plants.


Reducing pesticide storage and disposal

You can reduce pesticide storage and disposal by:

  • Taking a "wait and see" approach - sometimes a predator will move in and eradicate the problem naturally.
  • Trying natural herbicides and pesticides to control problems. If all else fails use 'Smart buying'. Identify the problem first. Then buy only the amount you need.
  • Always storing pesticides in their original container with labels attached to prevent accidental poisonings.
  • Ensuring that the pesticides are in properly sealed containers and out of reach of your children and pets.
  • Keeping pesticides away from any food, drink, clothing, toys, and toiletry items such as sunscreen. (These items could cause injury if they become contaminated.)
  • Storing pesticides where temperatures are consistent and out of the sun. (When pesticides are exposed to temperature fluctuations - as they would in a shed or a garage - it can affect the effectiveness of the product.)
  • Storing concentrated or ready-to-use pesticides for only short periods of time (look for expiration dates on the containers).

Pesticides are harmful to the environment when you don't dispose of them properly.

When you're finished applying a pesticide, don't toss leftover amounts in the garbage, down the drain, or in sewers.

Call the Peel Household Hazardous Waste at 905-791-9499 (Caledon residents 905-584-2274) for safe disposal information.


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Revised: June 15, 2009


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