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, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is moving toward the elimination of non-essential pesticide use.

Local Pesticide Alternatives

ACTIVE INGREDIENT OR PRODUCT GROUPING

CLASS

acetic acid

Domestic

animal repellents except thiram

Domestic & Commercial

anti-fouling paints

Domestic & Commercial

antisapstain wood preservatives used on private, industrial land owned by the company or person responsible for applying the preservatives

Commercial

asphalt solids used as pruning paints

Domestic & Commercial

bactericides used in petroleum products

Domestic & Commercial

boron compounds

Domestic

boron compounds with up to 5% copper for insect control and wood preservation

Domestic & Commercial

capsaicin

Domestic, Commercial & Restricted

cleansers

Domestic & Commercial

corn cellulose

Domestic & Commercial

corn gluten

Domestic & Commercial

deodorizers

Domestic & Commercial

d-phenothrin

Domestic

d-trans-allethrin, also referred to as d-cis, trans allethrin

Domestic

fatty acids

Domestic & Commercial

ferric phosphate

Domestic & Commercial

ferrous sulphate

Domestic & Commercial

formic acid

Domestic & Commercial

hard surface disinfectants

Domestic & Commercial

insect repellents

Domestic

insect semiochemicals, including pheromones, kairomones, attractants and repellents

Domestic & Commercial

insecticides sold and used in tamper- resistant bait stations

Domestic

kaolin

Domestic & Commercial

laundry additives

Domestic & Commercial

material preservatives

Domestic & Commercial

methoprene

Domestic

mineral oils for insect and mite control

Domestic

naphthalene for fabric protection

Domestic

n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide

Domestic

octenol

Domestic & Commercial

oxalic acid

Domestic & Commercial

paradichlorobenzene for fabric protection

Domestic

pesticides in aerosol containers

Domestic

pesticides registered under the federal Act
for application to pets

Domestic & Commercial

piperonyl butoxide

Domestic

plant growth regulators

Domestic

polybutene bird repellents

Domestic & Commercial

pyrethrins

Domestic

resmethrin

Domestic

silica aerogel, also referred to as silica gel,
amorphous silica and amorphous silica gel

Domestic & Commercial

silicon dioxide, also referred to as
diatomaceous earth

Domestic & Commercial

slimicides

Commercial

soaps

Domestic & Commercial

sulphur, including lime sulphur, sulphide sulphur and calcium polysulphide

Domestic

surfactants

Domestic & Commercial

swimming pool algicides and bactericides

Domestic & Commercial

tetramethrin

Domestic

thymol

Domestic & Commercial

wood preservatives

Domestic

zinc strips

Domestic

For More Information

For answers to commonly asked questions about pesticides, and pesticide alternatives, visit our Pesticides FAQs page. To explore community organizations working to reduce the use of pesticides in the Comox Valley, view our Pesticide Resources page.

What are the Benefits of Pesticide Alternatives?

Health and Safety

Using traditional pesticides comes with a certain level of risk. 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.

Environmental

Many chemical pesticides can pollute the soil or groundwater and can persist for long periods of time.  If pesticides are unintentionally washed into storm water collection systems, creeks, streams or other water bodies may become polluted.

Protecting Non-Target Species

Chemical pesticides may potentially 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 are exploring methods of reducing 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, 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.

Pesticide and Gardening Tips

Tips for a Healthier Lawn and Garden

  • Ensure soil is healthy and has adequate drainage, add compost in the fall and spring. Water deeply but infrequently to maintain a strong root structure
  • Try companion planting
  • Plant a variety of grasses or other ground covers
  • Mow high and use sharp blades (21/2 – 3 inches)
Pesticide Alternative Tips
  • Physical or mechanical controls - pulling weeds, pouring hot water/vinegar, sticky traps etc.
  • Biological controls - beneficial insects, pheromones.
  • Low – toxicity pesticides - soaps, oils, pyrethrins.
  • Control – Don’t Eliminate – its only necessary to supress pests and weeds to low, non-damaging levels, not to entirely eliminate them.
  • Attract beneficial insects with flowering herbs, try planting extra herbs that you let go to flower.
  • Investigate the underlying cause of the problem – drainage, nutrients, plant species or placement etc.
  • Try natural treatments, such as this natural fungicide – 1 tbsp. each of baking soda and horticultural oil diluted in 4 litres of water – spray on leaves to eliminate fungal diseases.