| Environmental Columns

Pesticides in Pointe-Claire

Did you know that the use of pesticides (herbicides, fungicides and insecticides) is strictly governed by municipal by-laws to ensure a healthy environment for everyone? Unless you have been granted an exception, pesticide use has been prohibited in our territory since the spring of 2017.


Since the municipal by-law was adopted, no neonicotinoid pesticides can be applied on the City’s territory. These systemic pesticides, with low levels of biodegradability, are known to be toxic to many critters, such as earthworms and pollinators. 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 the decomposition of organic matter, 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.

By-laws in force

The use or application of pesticides outside of buildings is prohibited in Pointe-Claire. However, certain exceptions can be granted for their use: for an infestation that is not in a sensitive area (paragraph 2 of By-law PC-2865),to control vermin within a 5-m radius of warehouses and food processing and pharmaceutical plants, or for ant control at the base of a building and on a 30-cm strip around it. 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 to a body of water and weather conditions. A specific section is dedicated to golf courses and bowling greens in By-law PC-2865.

A permit is 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

Grasscycling is an environmentally friendly method that consists of leaving grass clippings on the lawn. As the clippings decompose, they become 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.

In addition to a traditional lawn, there are several alternatives that will green your yard while requiring little maintenance or water. For example, adding native plants, vegetation and shrubs promotes the reproduction of birds and pollinators, such as butterflies and bees. Indeed, not only does a variety of plants and flowers add to the attractiveness of your yard, it also offers a diverse food source that will attract and support the various pollinators in the territory. Moreover, by opting for honey plants and including plant species that have different flowering periods during the year, there will be a greater abundance of nectar over a longer period of time, to the great delight of pollinators.

With these tips, you can make your lawn healthier and more attractive while doing your part for our urban biodiversity!