| Environmental Columns

Pesticides in Pointe-Claire

Did you know that pesticide use is governed by strict by-laws to ensure a healthy environment for everyone? Unless you have been granted an exception, pesticide use is forbidden in our territory since the spring of 2017.

Neonicotinoids

Since the by-law was adopted, no neonicotinoid pesticides can be applied on the territory of the City. These pesticides are known to be toxic to many critters, such as earthworms and pollinators, and affect their nervous system. In fact, monarchs, bees, and earthworms can die or dig fewer tunnels if they have been exposed to these pesticides. Earthworm tunnels aerate the soil, speed up decomposition, and help plants grow, while pollinators are crucial to maintaining biodiversity. Birds and reptiles can also suffer from the use of neonicotinoids, either by feeding on seeds sprayed with pesticides or because the insects that are part of their diet are fewer in number.

Regulations in force

The use or application of pesticides outside of buildings is prohibited in Pointe-Claire. However, exceptions can be granted for their use under certain conditions: for an infestation that is not in a sensitive area (paragraph 2 of By-law PC-2865), within a 5-m radius of warehouses and food company plants or pharmaceutical manufacturing plants for vermin control, or on the base of a building and a 30-cm strip around it for ant control. The use of pesticides requires a permit issued by the City, which comes with restrictions and can require prior actions before the permit is issued.

Owners of golf courses and bowling greens can use pesticides under certain conditions, specifically those related to proximity with a body of water and weather conditions. A specific section is dedicated to golf courses and bowling greens in By-law PC-2865. Exceptions also apply for the use of pesticides in pools and decorative ponds or self-contained artificial basins.

Permits are not required for the use of biopesticides. The use of biopesticides, like all other pesticides, is subject to the standards of the federal government’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the Pesticides Management Code, according to provincial regulation, and requires signs to be installed to warn users.

For a healthy lawn

The City of Pointe-Claire can give you tips for a healthy lawn without using pesticides or biopesticides.

Residents are encouraged to grasscycle, which consists of leaving grass clippings on the lawn to decompose quickly and provide a natural fertilizer, keep the lawn moist, and make it more resistant to insects and diseases. You can also adjust your lawnmower blade to a height of 8 centimetres. Cutting grass to this height prevents nuisances that are related to short lawns, such as weeds spreading and the lawn drying out and becoming more vulnerable to harmful insects.

With these tips, you can make your lawn healthier and more attractive while doing your part for the environment!