The Pesticides Management Code
Environmental protection and health in pest management
Updating: August 2017
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 environment.
Pesticides are commonly used to combat insects and rodents.
Nearly 90 percent of the pesticides used in the pest control sector are
applied to eliminate pests. In 2010, total pesticide sales in this sector
accounted for approximately 15,000 kilograms of active ingredients.
Commercial extermination products are characterized by their effectiveness
in very small doses. Generally speaking, active ingredient concentrations
are very low (0.005 to 0.5%), particularly in rodenticides.
Pesticides can pose a risk to human health, as well as
contaminate water, air, soil and property. Thus, pesticide applications to
eliminate harmful organisms both in and outdoors, notably by agri-food
institutions and public or residential buildings are cause for concern.
Therefore, it is important to reduce pesticide use and implement integrated
pest management as the most appropriate combination of strategies for
preventing, eliminating or controlling harmful organisms.
The effectiveness of integrated pest management depends
essentially on information related to the location and evolution of pest
populations, made available through monitoring methods such as visual
observations, trap monitoring systems, etc. Data related to pest
populations, ambient conditions and location background facilitate the
exterminators’ ability to diagnose a problem and choose the best
intervention strategy. Adequate hygiene conditions applied both inside and
outside buildings is a fundamental step towards minimizing food sources for
The Pesticides Management Code
These new regulations affect the storage, preparation and
application of pesticides in the pest control sector. Permit and certificate
holders targeted by the Regulation respecting
permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides must
comply with the regulations of the Code. These include:
holders of a Class C “Remunerated Work,” Subclass C5
“Application of Class 1 to Class 4 Pesticides for Extermination”
holders of a Class D “Non-Remunerated Work,” Subclass D5
“Application of Class 1 to Class 3 Pesticides for Extermination”
holders of a Class CD “Application of Pesticides,” Subclass
CD5 “Application for Extermination”
classifications are established according to the
Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of
pesticides. They differ from the federal classifications.
Pesticides for restricted use
Classes 1 and 2
Pesticides for commercial, agricultural or industrial use
Pesticides for domestic use
Classes 4 and 5
- Class 1 to Class 4 pesticides must be stored in premises where the
ambient conditions are not likely to alter the product or its container,
and in such a manner that its contents are not released into the
- It is prohibited to store Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 pesticides
within a flood area that is mapped or identified in a development plan
or a metropolitan land use planning and development plan or in a
municipal zoning by-law.
- Flood area having a flood recurrence interval of 0
to 20 years
It is prohibited to store pesticides in this area.
Pesticides must be stored on such premises only if they are placed higher
than the highest level reached by water in a 100-year interval flood,
failing which the storage site must be moved outside the flood area.
- Flood area having a flood recurrence interval of 20
to 100 years
It is prohibited to store pesticides in this area, except
under the following conditions:
the quantity of stored pesticides is less than 100 litres or 100 kilograms;
the quantity of stored pesticides is equal to or greater than 100 litres or
100 kilograms and the storage time is less than 15 consecutive days;
the pesticides are stored higher than the highest level reached by water in
a 100-year interval flood.
Pesticides must be stored on such premises only if one of the
above-mentioned conditions applies, failing which the storage site must be
moved outside the flood area.
Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 unprepared or undiluted
pesticides must be stored in premises having a containment works. A
containment works is a floor, platform or watertight basin built so as to
contain and allow for the complete recovery of any pesticide leak or
A person who stores unprepared or undiluted pesticides in
quantities equal to or greater than 1,000 litres or 1,000 kilograms must
Urgence-Environnement in the event of pesticide fire, and specify at
that time the nature of the stored pesticides and the approximate quantity
stored on the premises.
A person who stores Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 pesticides
must have on the premises adequate equipment and material capable of
stopping any leak or release of pesticides and, if required, of cleaning the
premises. In the event of a leak or release of pesticides, the person must
immediately take measures to stop the leak or release and clean the
A civil liability insurance contract for damage to the
environment is required for premises with a storage capacity greater than
10,000 litres or 10,000 kilograms for Class 1 to Class 4 unprepared or
undiluted pesticides. The contract must include a provision under which the
insurer undertakes to notify the concerned Regional Office of the Ministère
within 48 hours following the revocation, cancellation, termination or
modification of the insurance contract coverage.
Preparation and application
The preparation of Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 pesticides as
well as the loading and unloading of a sprayer containing such pesticides
must be carried out in a containment works. For example, use a plastic
container to hold the sprayer for preparing the spray mixture.
Adequate equipment and material must be available on
premises where pesticides are loaded or prepared capable of stopping any
leak or release of pesticides and, if required, of cleaning the premises. In
the event of such a leak or release, measures must immediately be taken to
stop the leak or release and clean the premises. The person loading or
preparing the pesticides must remain on site throughout the operations.
Birdseed treated with an avicide and left for harmful birds
must be placed in a feeder equipped with a device preventing the wind from
carrying the seed away. Bird feeders should be clearly labelled with the
avicide’s name, the permit holder’s name, address and telephone number, as
well as the telephone number of the Centre anti-poison du Québec.
- A regulatory sign must be displayed following the application of
pesticides on a lawn or paved surface outside a building.
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 area treated, the date and time of application,
the active ingredient used, the registration number of the pesticide,
and the name, address and phone number of the permit or certificate
Moreover, 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.
Specific regulations in certains locations
It is prohibited to apply certain pesticides (active ingredients listed
in Schedule I of the Pesticides Management Code) on lawns :
- Of private and commercial land
- Of State, municipal or metropolitan community land
- Of a private or public institution offering a college or
- Of a health and social services institution
- On property where sports, recreational, cultural or
artistic activities are held for children under 14 years of
age. (For example, it is prohibited to treat ant nests on
municipal green space with carbaryl.)
For childcare centres and schools
Only biopesticides or pesticides containing an active ingredient listed in
Schedule II of the Pesticides Management Code may be applied inside or
outside childcare centres, daycare centres, home childcare residences
governed by the Educational Childcare Act, private and public
preschools, primary schools and secondary schools.
- It is prohibited to apply a biopesticide or pesticide containing an
active ingredient listed in Schedule II during the establishment’s care,
teaching or activity periods that take place inside or outside the
- A minimum eight-hour waiting period must be respected before services
or activities resume in areas treated.
- 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 flying insects, crawling
insects, food insects and wood insects under the following conditions:
- only exterminators holding a C5 permit from the Ministère can apply
at least 24 hours before application, the administration of the
establishment must be notified of the reasons for applying the active
ingredient, the name of the pesticide 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
- For specific needs, the application of certain other products is also
permitted under the first two conditions listed above, for instance:
- resmethrin to destroy wasps’, hornets’ or bees’ nests;
- bromadiolone in combination with Bitrex (denatonium benzoate) and
bromethalin (with Bitrex) to control rodents (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 acquired for rodent control purposes. Above all, rodent food sources
must be eliminated, and rodent access routes uncovered and blocked.
The next table shows actives ingredients on schedules I and II of the
Pesticides Management Code).
Schedule I of the Pesticides Management Code
(Active ingredients prohibited on certain green spaces)
Category of pesticides
|2,4-D (present as sodium salt)
2,4-D (present as ester)
2,4-D (present as acid)
2,4-D (present as amine salt)
MCPA (present as ester)
MCPA (present as amine salt)
MCPA (present as potassium or sodium salt)
Mecoprop (present as acid)
Mecoprop (present as amine salt)
Mecoprop (present as potassium or sodium salt)
NB: Active Ingredient Trade Names of products prohibited on
certain green spaces:
products (commercial) (French)
products (domestic) (French)
Schedule II of the Pesticides Management Code*
Active ngredients allowed inside and outside establishments governed
by the Educational Childcare Act, as well as preschools,
primary schools and secondary schools
Category of pesticides
Silicon dioxide (diatomaceous earth)
Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate
Calcium sulfide or calcium polysulfide
Mixture of capric and pelargonic acids
|* Biopesticides that are registered as such by the Pest
Management Regulatory Agency are to be added to this list.
NB: Active Ingredient Trade Names of products allowed* inside and
outside establishments governed by the Act respecting childcare centres and
childcare services, as well as preschools, primary schools and secondary
A quick reminder
Following reassessments by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency,
indoor and lawn applications of products containing chlorpyrifos and
diazinon have been banned.
Required Application Distances
The regulations stipulate application distances to be respected from
sensitive elements, watercourses, bodies of water and water catchment works.
- A watercourse or body of water includes streams,
small and large rivers, lakes, intermittent watercourses,
ponds, marshes, swamps and peat bogs, and excludes ditches,
municipal aerated ponds and artificial lakes without any
The relative distance from a watercourse is measured from the high water
mark of the watercourse. An easy way to establish the high water mark is to
determine the place where there is a change from a predominance of aquatic
plants to a predominance of terrestrial plants. Thus the high water mark
corresponds to the place where nature itself has established this point of
balance between aquatic and terrestrial vegetation.
- A catchment works includes facilities used for the
production of spring water or mineral water, the supply of a
waterworks, catchment works designed for surface water
intake for water intended for human consumption or any other
groundwater catchment works.
The following table summarizes the application distances to be respected
according to the premises where storage, preparation and application
activities take place.
If someone you know becomes ill from pesticides
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 telephone emergency, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or in
the Québec City area (local call) at (418) 656-8090, 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 or the name and registration number 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. The full text is published in the March
19, 2003, edition of the Gazette officielle of Publications du
Pest Management Regulatory Angency (PMRA) -
“Avoid pesticides… a natural thing to do.”