The Pesticides Management Code
Protect health and the environment in childcare centres
Updated: October 2018
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
Why have special regulations for premises frequented
Children are particularly vulnerable to the noxious effects of pesticides
due to their physiology (undeveloped immune system, greater skin
permeability, lower body weight, etc.) and the higher exposure levels that
result from their behaviour (e.g., their tendency to put objects in their
mouth). Pesticides are absorbed in the body, particularly by way of the
mouth, skin and through the respiratory system. They can trigger immediate
effects, which are usually manifested by symptoms such as headaches, skin or
eye irritation, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite and fatigue.
Furthermore, pesticide use often causes water, air and soil
contamination. When organisms that are not targeted by the application of
these products are exposed to them, the result is a negative impact on
How does the Pesticides Management Code concern
Childcare centres, daycare centres and home childcare residences
governed by the Educational Childcare Act and all establishments,
public or private, offering preschool, primary or secondary education,
including schools for Native students, are targeted by the Pesticides
Management Code, more specifically sections 32, 32.1 and 33 and Schedule II. Other
provisions of the Pesticides Management Code may also apply. Thus only
pesticides representing the lowest risk to human health and the environment
may be applied inside or outside these establishments.
Permit and certificate holders targeted by the
Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of
pesticides must comply with the provisions of the Code. In addition,
certain provisions apply to those without certificates (for instance, the
owner of a home childcare residence) who apply Class 4 and Class 5
domestic-use pesticides in these premises.
Permits and certificates
required for work done inside and outside establishments
case of remunerated work:
- extermination companies must hold a Subclass C5 permit, and
exterminators must hold a Subclass CD5 certificate for use of Class
1 to Class 3 and Class 4 pesticides, or must be supervised by a certified
- for green space maintenance, ornamental horticulture companies
must hold a Subclass C4 permit, and their employees must hold a
Subclass CD4 certificate for use of Class 1 to Class 3 and Class 4 pesticides,
or must be supervised by a certified individual.
In the case of non-remunerated work (an individual, for instance a
janitor, using Class 1 to Class 3 pesticides):
- for extermination activities, the owner of the premises must
hold a Subclass D5 “Application for Extermination” permit, and
pesticide application work must be carried out by a Subclass CD5
certificate holder, or must be supervised by a certified individual;
- for green space maintenance, the owner of the premises must hold
a Subclass D4 “Application in Ornamental Horticulture” permit, and
pesticide application work must be carried out by a Subclass CD4
certificate holder, or must be supervised by a certified individual.
In Québec, pesticides are divided into classes according to their
level of risk for the environment and for public health. The table below
briefly compares the federal and Québec classifications of pesticides.
|Pesticides for restricted use
|Pesticides for commercial, agricultural or industrial
|Pesticides for domestic use
||Classes 4 and 5
|* Neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid or thiamethoxam) that coat the seeds of certain crops (oats, wheat, canola, corn, grain corn, sweet corn, barley or soybeans)
Class 1 to Class 3A pesticides are purchased and used by holders of
permits issued by the Ministère. Class 4 and Class 5
pesticides may be obtained from various sales outlets such as garden
centres, hardware stores, department stores, etc.
Main regulations in force
General regulations for all users
- Only biopesticides and authorized active ingredients mentioned in
Schedule II of the Pesticides Management Code both inside and outside
the establishment in question can be applied.
- It is prohibited to apply pesticides inside and outside childcare
centres and educational institutions when services or activities are being
offered by these establishments.
- A minimum eight-hour waiting period must be respected before services
or activities resume in areas treated.
- All instructions appearing on the pesticide label must be respected.
Where instructions and a provision of the Pesticides Management Code
are inconsistent, the more restrictive of the two applies.
- Contamination of any space that does not require treatment and pet
exposure to the products applied must be avoided.
- A distance of three metres from bodies of water, watercourses and
wetlands must be respected during pesticide applications.
Supplementary regulations for holders of permits and certificates
79 KB) must be displayed at all entrances to an enclosed
area, or every 20 linear metres along the perimeter of a non-enclosed
area, following the application of pesticides on a lawn or paved surface
or on trees or bushes. This requirement does not apply when pesticides are
injected into plants.
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 plants treated, the active ingredient used, the date and
time of application, the registration number of the pesticide, and the
name, address and phone number of the permit or certificate holders.
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.
- It is prohibited to apply fertilizer-pesticide mixtures.
- The regulations stipulate mandatory application distances from
watercourses, bodies of water, wetlands and water withdrawal sites. The following
table summarizes the mandatory minimum distances for the storage,
preparation and application of pesticides.
Pesticides authorized in pest management
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
981 KB), crawling
751 KB) and wood insects under the following conditions:
- only exterminators holding a Subclass C5 permit from the Ministère can apply this ingredient;
- at least 24 hours before application, the administration of the
establishment must be notified by written notice of the name of the pesticide, the reasons for applying the active ingredient 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:
- D-phenothrin or tetramethrin to
wasp, hornet or bee nests
- bromadiolone in combination with Bitrex (denatonium benzoate) and
bromethalin (with Bitrex) to control
1 MB) (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 envisaged for rodent control purposes. Above all, rodent food sources
must be eliminated, and rodent access routes uncovered and blocked.
Pesticides authorized for green space maintenance
A pesticide to control the emerald ash borer may also be injected into trees on the property of an establishment under the following conditions:
- At least 24 hours prior to application, the establishment’s administration must be informed by written notice of the name of the pesticide to be applied and its active ingredients, the pesticide registration number, the reasons for applying the pesticide and the proposed date and time of application.
- The injection is performed by a Subclass C4 permit holder and the permit holder takes the necessary steps to prevent anyone from coming into contact with the injection device.
- The injection holes are sealed after application.
How to live without pesticides
The Pesticides Management Code serves to modify certain user
habits of both extermination and green space maintenance companies and
individuals (home owners, daycare centre employees, etc.) who apply
pesticides inside or outside childcare centres or other childcare services,
preschools, primary schools or secondary schools.
Although the range of products available will now be limited, harmful
organisms can still be controlled effectively, both inside and outside the
establishments in question. By learning to recognize undesirable insects and
plants, establishing the necessary preventive measures for deterring their
appearance, and using environmentally-friendly substitutes, we will reduce
pesticide use, thereby protecting the environment, our health and the health
of our children.
By adopting the pest management,
pesticides will only be used as a last resort after all other possibilities
have been exhausted. The participation of parents, children and the
establishment’s personnel is required in order for this approach to be
implemented. Each and every player has an important role to play.
Inside and around childcare and educational establishments
A basic way to reduce the food sources that attract harmful organisms is
by applying the appropriate rules of hygiene both inside and outside the
buildings in question. For instance, all premises where food is prepared and
consumed should be disinfected and cleaned on a daily basis (kitchens,
cafeterias, dinettes, etc.). Children and older students must be continually
reminded to avoid leaving food in lockers or desks.
Frequent inspections and the laying of traps are indispensable ways to
detect the beginning of an infestation and effectively monitor the premises.
In addition, there are a number of different strategies to eliminate places
where harmful organisms (insects, rodents, etc.) proliferate. For instance,
you can replace deteriorating structures such as rotten pieces of wood;
eliminate water leaks; mow the lawn close to all buildings; leave a
plant-free strip around the perimeter of the foundations; prune branches of
trees in contact with buildings; install screens; and block all cracks and
For the lawn
Opt for a more natural lawn that requires less maintenance and water and
fewer products. Be patient! A lawn being converted to pesticide- and
chemical fertilizer-free maintenance requires an adjustment period.
For more information, consult Maintenance of Residential Lawns (French)
For all inert surfaces such as paving stones
Eliminate weeds by pulling them out or applying boiling water. Boiling
water should be used after hours to ensure the safety of children.
For ant nests in lawns
Apply boiling water to the ant nests on a frequent basis and resow the
area once they have been destroyed.
If you really must resort to pesticides…
Does the situation require professional expertise? If the answer is yes,
please make sure that the individual in question holds the appropriate
permits and certificates issued by the Ministère.
However, if you think that you can solve the problem by yourself, please
take guidance from:
List of Active Ingredient Trade Names:
|If someone you know becomes ill
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 emergency number, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) 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 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.
Garderies et établissements scolaires (French,
Healthy Lawns - Pest
Management Regulatory Agency
Fact sheets - Pest
Management Regulatory Agency
Please note: If you need advice for pest control measures contained in the
Pest Notes, it is important that you check if active ingredients are
authorized according to the Pesticides Management Code.
Acting together to protect health, pollinators and the environment