Pesticide-free lawns and gardens
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.
- 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:
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:
Take your unlabeled pesticide products to a hazardous waste disposal company.
Find disposal locations External website, opens in new tab
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.
- Learn about backyard composting
- Learn about worm composting for apartments
- Buy compost soil from the landfill
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.