Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs

The Pesticides Management Code


Regulation amending Pesticides Management Code
Regulation amending Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides

Updated: February 2021

Additional information

Pesticides Management Code
Full text

Reference Guides on Pesticide Legislation(French)This hyperlink will open in a new window.

Application tools (French)

Ensuring improved conditions for health and the environment

The Pesticides Management Code sets standards to control the storage, sale and use of pesticides. This regulation aims at limiting the harmful effects of pesticides on human health – especially on the health of children – and on the environment. The environmental management approach that it advocates limits the non-essential use of pesticides to the bare essentials in matters of lawn maintenance. Childcare centres, elementary and secondary schools have to be as free as possible from pesticides.

Though pesticides may be useful in certain cases, we must nonetheless recognize that they are noxious, and acknowledge that we must take steps to limit their use. When these products must be used, it should not compromise our health or environment in any way.

Above all, we need a healthy and clean environment. Through the Pesticides Management Code, we are therefore asked, individually and collectively, to use pesticides in a responsible manner and to choose alternative means whenever possible. 


Why the government intervenes in the use of pesticides?

To protect human health

Pesticides can compromise human health. Children are particularly vulnerable to the noxious effects of pesticides due to their physiology (e.g., undeveloped immune system and more permeability skin) and higher exposure level that results from their behaviour (e.g., tendency to put objects in their mouth). Pets are also vulnerable to these products.

Pesticides are absorbed by the body, particularly by way of the mouth, skin and through 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.

Environmental protection

Pesticide use often causes water, air and contamination soil. When organisms that are not targeted by the application of these products are exposed to them, the result is a negative impact on biodiversity.


Highlights of the Pesticides Management Code

Under the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides, the Pesticides Management Code introduces rules for the sale and use of pesticides to permit and certificate holders. Commercial and private users include farmers and forest managers. Certain provisions concern citizens, notably the observance of minimum distances from lakes, streams and wetlands. More specifically, the most important elements of the project are:

Pesticide Use Rules:

  • It is prohibited to use certain pesticides on the lawns of private and commercial green spaces, public, semi-public and municipal properties and on the lawns of private and commercial properties, except for golf courses.
  • It is prohibited for commercial users to apply on lawn spaces pesticides that are impregnated or mixed with a fertilizer, unless these products are stored in separate containers.
  • It is prohibited to use almost all pesticides inside and outside child care centres and elementary and secondary schools, and specific rules must be observed when using authorized pesticides.
  • It is prohibited to use certain aerosols indoors.
  • Minimal distances must be observed when using pesticides or when preparing pesticide mixtures near lakes, streams, wetlands and water withdrawal sites.
  • Specified distances from watercourses and inhabited areas will also have to be observed in the case of certain type of equipment causing significant pesticide drift (in orchards or vineyards for example), during aerial spraying and when pesticides are used in high-traffic vehicle, train or energy corridors.
  • Golf courses are required to submit triennial plans for the reduced use of pesticides.
  • Application of information modalities for the public and the Ministère when certain pesticides are used in forests and high-traffic vehicle, train or energy corridors.
  • Billposting and pesticide warnings when pesticides are used in urban areas and on golf courses.
  • Specific rules apply during fumigation (aeration, schedule, posting of warnings).
  • Specific rules apply for aerial spraying (for example marking the location).
  • Ground applications of pesticides to reduce adult biting insects is prohibited.
  • It is prohibited for all, including citizens, to use strychnine and DDT.
In agricultural areas:
  • Neonicotinoids used to coat the seeds of certain crops are grouped into a new class of pesticides: Class 3A.
  • The application of the highest-risk pesticides used in agriculture and the application of Class 3A pesticides in or on the ground will be prohibited unless justification signed by an agrologist has previously been obtained.
  • Existing mandatory distances from lakes, streams, wetlands, water withdrawal sites and ditches must be respected for the application of Class 3A pesticides in or on the ground.
  • When pesticides are applied by aircraft near bicycle paths that are physically separated from vehicular traffic and have their own right-of-way, the same mandatory distances must be maintained as for protected immovables.
  • In the definition of “protected immovable,” the reference to buildings used or intended to be used to house or receive things has been deleted.
  • Farmers must maintain and keep a record of their pesticide use, including information on Class 3A pesticides.
In urban areas:
  • The application of neonicotinoids to grass surfaces by commercial users will be prohibited, except at golf courses.
  • Pesticides may be injected to control the emerald ash borer on daycare and school grounds.
  • A pesticide containing D-phenothrin and tetramethrin may be applied to destroy wasp, hornet or bee nests on daycare and school grounds.

Sale Rules:

  • It is prohibited to sell fertilizer-pesticide mixtures and mixed packages (e.g. herbicide and insecticide).
  • It is prohibited to display products intended for domestic use in a way which makes these products accessible to the public.
  • It is prohibited to sell certain pesticides intended for domestic use.
In agricultural areas:
  • Retail vendors may sell pesticides covered by an agronomic justification only to those who provide a valid prescription signed by an agronomist.
  • Wholesalers must annually report their sales of Class 3A pesticides to Ministère.
  • Retailers of Class 1 to Class 3A pesticides must annually report to Ministère:
    • their sales of pesticides covered by an agronomic justification;
    • their purchases of pesticides that are not from a wholesale permit holder.
In urban areas:

Layout rules for the storage, loading and unloading of pesticides:

  • retention and backflow prevention system, etc.;
  • distance from lakes, streams, wetlands, water withdrawal sites, etc.;
  • civil liability insurance for damage to the environment for large capacity storage.

To make known the Pesticides Management Code provisions and ensure that the Code is applied, the Ministry publishes:


List of active ingredients prohibited for lawn maintenance purposes

Categories of pesticides

Active ingredients




2,4-D (all chemical forms)
Chlorthal dimethyl
MCPA (all chemical forms)
Mecoprop (all chemical forms)



Note: Active Ingredient Trade Names (Classes 3 and 4)

List of ingredients authorized inside and outside childcare centers as well as elementary and secondary schools

Categories of pesticides Active ingredients

Boric acid
Silica dioxide (diatomaceous earth)
Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate
Ferric phosphate
Insecticidal soap


Acetic acid
Conjugated decanoic and pelargonic acid
Herbicidal soap


Calcium sulphide or calcium polysulphide


Active ingredients approved by the federal government

Note: Active Ingredient Trade Names (Class 3 - Classes 4 and 5)

The information provided in this document is in no way meant to replace the text of the Pesticides Management Code.

Acting together to protect health, pollinators and the environment

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