The way we choose to manage pests in our yards is important for the well-being of our families and the environment. The risk of low-level pesticide exposure to the health and safety of the public, especially children, is uncertain. Just as we seek to reduce our exposure to other contaminants in our food, air, and water, communities have moved towards the elimination of non-essential pesticide use.
Locally the following treatments are allowed:
- Insecticidal and herbicidal soaps
- Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki)
- Nematodes & other biological control organisms
- Injected tree treatments
- Insect bait stations
- Borax/Boron compounds
- Dormant oils and horticultural oils
- Bordeaux mixture, sulphur compounds
- Lime sulphur
- Ferric phosphate
- Pheromone traps
- Diatomaceous earth
What are the benefits of being a pesticide-free community?
Health And Safety Risks
Product labels provide some information on these risks, which range from minor skin or eye irritation, to poisoning and death, depending on the product and type of exposure. Some pesticides can produce noxious and/or explosive gases if combined with other materials or mixed or applied using the wrong type of container.
Some pesticides can pollute the soil or groundwater and can persist for long periods of time. If pesticides are unintentionally washed into stormwater collection systems, creeks, streams or other water bodies may become polluted.
Risks To Non-target Species
Some pesticides can cause accidental injury or death to aquatic organisms, birds, mammals and beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. Microorganisms in your lawn and garden can also be harmed, reducing their ability to enrich the soil and provide nutrients for plants. The more toxic and the more you use, the greater the risk.
Supporting Healthier Communities
Many communities across Canada have explored ways to reduce pesticide use through alternative methods. A large number of municipalities have bylaws limiting the application of pesticides for certain uses. Collectively, these initiatives reflect a movement toward a safer and more environmentally sensitive approach to pest management. The Comox Valley, with its reputation for healthy living and a pristine environment, is aptly suited to be part of this movement.