Pesticide-free lawns and gardens

Gardening naturally saves time, money, and water.

In Vancouver, pesticides can only be used on lawns and gardens to control an infestation or destroy a health hazard, not for cosmetic (visual) applications.

Pesticides include:

  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Fungicides
  • Combined fertilizer/herbicide products, for example, "weed-and-feed" products

Choose the right products

All of the active ingredients in a pesticide are listed on the product's label.

Read the label and cross-reference with the list of permitted pesticides (page 11, Schedule A of the Health Bylaw).

Most lawn care retailers and landscapers can help you read the labels and choose the right products.

Common ingredients that are restricted include:

  • 2,4-D
  • Mecoprop
  • Dicamba
  • Glyphosate
  • Carbaryl
  • Malathion

Manage European Chafer Beetles

Nematode application is an environmentally-friendly and effective way to manage chafer beetles, and is a great alternative to chemical pesticides like Merit or Arena. Nematodes can be purchased from most lawn care retailers.

The City doesn't allow the use of pesticides or chemicals to treat chafer beetles, as per the Health Bylaw.

Read about European Chafer Beetles and how to manage them

Dispose of pesticides for free

 Never pour pesticides onto your lawn, down a storm drain, or down any household drains.

Drop off your labeled pesticides for free disposal at the following locations:

Location Map Hours

East Vancouver Bottle Depot
2605 Kaslo Street

Monday to Sunday
9:00am to 6:00pm

Regional Recycling
960 Evans Avenue

Monday to Sunday
9:00am to 5:30pm

Stat holidays
11:00am to 4:00pm

South Vancouver Bottle Depot
34 E. 69th Avenue

Monday to Sunday
8:30am to 5:30pm

Stat holidays

Take your unlabeled pesticide products to a hazardous waste disposal company.

Find disposal locations 

Keep your yard drug-free

Caring for your yard using natural gardening techniques:

  • Saves time raking and bagging leaves
  • Saves money on waste disposal and chemicals
  • Conserves water and protects soil, streams, lakes, and people from chemicals

Step 1: Choose plants wisely

Pick pest-resistant plants for your lawn and garden. Clean up diseased or dead plants to prevent pests from breeding.

Step 2: Build healthy soil

Get a composter and use compost when creating new garden beds or planting a new lawn. Spread compost around plants in spring and fall.

Step 3: Fertilize moderately

Use organic fertilizers made from manure or composted sewer sludge. Fertilize twice a year maximum, in mid- to late May and early September.

Step 4: Be water wise

Collect rainwater using a rain barrel. During warm weather, water your lawn once per week with 25 mm (1 in) of water (for about an hour) in the morning to reduce evaporation.

Step 5: Mow and go

Let your lawn reach 6 cm (nearly 2.5 in) high before mowing. Longer grass protects your lawn from heat and helps grass grow deeper roots and hold more moisture.