You need to apply online for a pesticide licence in Ontario. Applications for pesticide permits will continue to be processed by ministry regional offices.

For more information, you may contact the Client Services and Permissions Branch by phone, Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), at 416-314-8001 ( Toll-free: 1-800-461-6290) or by e-mail at enviropermissions@ontario.ca.

Overview

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (referred to throughout this document as MECP or ministry) regulates the sale, storage, use, transportation and disposal of pesticides in Ontario. Ontario regulates pesticides by placing appropriate education, licensing and/or permit requirements on their use under the Pesticides Act and Ontario Regulation 63/09 (O. Reg. 63/09).

The Pesticides Act defines "pesticide" as any organism, substance or thing that is manufactured, represented, sold or used as a means of directly or indirectly controlling, preventing, destroying, mitigating, attracting or repelling any pest or altering the growth, development or characteristics of any plant life that is not a pest and includes any organism, substance or thing registered under the federal Pest Control Products Act.

For more information about pesticides in Ontario, contact the ministry’s Public Information Centre
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4923
In the GTA: 416-325-4000
TTY: 1-800-515-2759
Email: picemail.moe@ontario.ca
Website: ontario.ca/pesticides

For more information about pesticide licensing:

The information contained in this Guide is of a general nature only and is not intended to constitute advice for any specific situation. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this Guide, it should not be construed as legal advice. In the event of conflict with the requirements identified in the Pesticides Act and O. Reg. 63/09, then the regulatory requirements shall determine the appropriate approach. Please note that the text of many Ontario statutes and regulations are available on the e-Laws website.

Classification of pesticides

The federal government registers and designates pesticides into one of four classes under the Pest Control Products Act:

  • manufacturing
  • restricted
  • commercial
  • domestic

Once a pesticide is federally registered, it is automatically classified in Ontario according to the federal class designation and available for sale and use.

As set out in O. Reg. 63/09, there are five classes in Ontario:

Federal pesticide class Post-2020 Ontario pesticide class Description
Manufacturing Class A The pesticide is only used to manufacture a pest control product.
Restricted Class B The pesticide is restricted by the federal government out of concern of environmental risk or human health. Additional information must be shown on the label regarding essential conditions for display, distribution and limitations on use. Specific qualifications may be required for a person to use this product.
Commercial Class C The pesticide can only be used by trained persons including certified farmers, licensed exterminators and permit holders.
Domestic Class D The pesticide is primarily used by the general public for personal use and in and around their homes.
N/A Class E – Treated Seeds Corn and soybean seeds that are treated with neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam) are restricted for use by certified persons in Ontario.

The class of pesticide determines the sale and/or use requirements and what restrictions are placed on its use (e.g., requires a licence and/or permit).

Pesticide licences

The following types of pesticide licences are required in Ontario:

You or your business may require more than one type of pesticide licence, depending on your activity.

How to apply

You need to apply online for a new pesticide licence or to renew an existing pesticide licence in Ontario. To apply for your pesticides licence, you will need to create your Public Secure and ministry account online.

  1. Login if you are a new or existing Public Secure user
  2. Use Google Chrome or Internet Explorer as your web browser to log into Public Secure to access your ministry account. If you encounter issues, try disabling pop-up blockers or clearing your browser history to address them.
  3. Once you apply online, you can log into your ministry account at any time to access an electronic copy of your pesticide licence.

As of July 18, 2020, the Environmental Permission sign in changed from ONe-key to Public Secure. If you don’t already have a Public Secure account you will need to create one. If you are an existing ONe-key user, you can connect to your existing Environmental Permissions account using your ONe-key user name and password.

Pesticide permits are processed by ministry regional offices.

For assistance with applying online for a pesticide licence:

Information for applicants

An applicant, or, if the applicant is a corporation or partnership, a person listed in the application as an official representative of the corporation or partnership, shall use the ministry’s electronic system to certify that the information in the application and supporting documents is complete and accurate. It is an offence to provide false or misleading information in an application for a pesticides licence.

Please note: you cannot apply for a licence that is of the same class which you already hold; this includes if your current licence is suspended or revoked.

For more information about pesticides licensing, refer to Pesticide licences and permits.

Exterminator licences

Unless exempt, you need an exterminator licence from the ministry if you engage in, perform or offer to perform an extermination. This licence will allow you to use pesticides according to specific terms and conditions.

It should be noted that there is no exterminator licence that authorizes the use of Class E pesticides. Accordingly, a person that uses Class E pesticides (treated seeds) must meet the requirements set out in section 45.1 of O. Reg. 63/09.

In general, all persons applying for an exterminator’s licence are required to complete a ministry approved course (home study) and pass a certification exam within 12 months before submitting the application.

  • All pesticide exterminator licence holders must be at least sixteen years of age.
  • Exterminator licences are valid for five years from the date of issue.
  • For more information, refer to Ontario Pesticide Training and Certification.

University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus
Toll-free: 1-888-620-9999
Email: rcoptc@uoguelph.ca
Website: www.ontariopesticide.com

Types of exterminations

There are three types of exterminations set out in the Pesticides Act.

For each class of exterminator licence, O. Reg. 63/09 sets out the types of pesticides authorized for use and the corresponding conditions for use. For convenience, a summary of the pesticides and conditions is set out below, but refer to the regulation for the requirements of each licence class.

Exterminator Licences - Structural extermination
Class of licence Pesticides authorized for use under the licence Conditions for use
Fumigation Commodity
  1. Aluminum phosphide.
  2. Magnesium phosphide.
  3. Phosphine.
  4. A mixture of carbon dioxide and any of the following: aluminum phosphide, magnesium phosphide, or phosphine.
  5. Any other insecticide that is not a fumigant gas and that has a label that indicates use in the extermination of pests associated with the commodity being fumigated.
  6. A Class C pesticide that is a fumigant gas.
Use in a fumigation of a commodity or other structural extermination of pests associated with a commodity, if the commodity is enclosed in a container including a shipping container, silo, bin, vehicle or vault or under a covering that suppresses the release of gas.
Fumigation General
  1. Fumigant gases.
  2. Chloropicrin.
Use in any fumigation.
Fumigation Soil
  1. Fumigant gases.
  2. Chloropicrin.
Use in any of the following:
  1. A fumigation of soil inside a building, with gas enclosed under a covering that suppresses the release of gas.
  2. A fumigation of soil that is not inside a building, with gas enclosed under a covering that suppresses the release of gas.
  3. A land extermination mentioned in subsection 71(3).

No use in fumigation of rodent burrows.

Fumigation Vault
  1. Methyl bromide.
  2. Ethylene oxide.
  3. Carbon dioxide.
Use in a fumigation in a vault.
Greenhouse/Interior Plant All pesticides, including fumigants and suspensions in air, except for the following:
  1. Fumigant gases.
  2. Chloropicrin.
  3. Termiticides.
Use in a structural extermination to control pests of plants growing inside greenhouses and other buildings or structures, including use in areas on or immediately surrounding greenhouses, buildings or structures.
Structural All pesticides, including fumigants and suspensions in air, except for the following:
  1. Class B pesticides that are fumigant gases.
  2. Chloropicrin.
  3. Termiticides.
  4. Herbicides.

Use in any structural extermination, except for an extermination to control pests of plants.

Use in a land extermination mentioned in subsection 71 (1) of O. Reg. 63/09.

Termite All termiticides, including fumigants and suspensions in air, except for the following:
  1. Fumigant gases.
  2. Chloropicrin.
Use in a structural extermination to prevent or control termites.
Exterminator Licences – Land extermination
Class of licence Pesticides authorized for use under the licence Conditions for use
Aerial Any pesticide that may be used by an aerial application according to the directions on the pesticide’s label. Use in a land extermination performed by aerial application.

Use in a water extermination mentioned in section 85 of O. Reg. 63/09.

Agriculture Any pesticide that is not a fumigant gas, other than a fumigant gas that contains aluminum phosphide. Use in a land extermination for the purposes of an agricultural operation.

Use in a structural extermination mentioned in section 56 of O. Reg. 63/09.

Industrial Vegetation All herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, except for fumigant gases. Use in a land extermination to control vegetation if the extermination is performed for the benefit of a public work or to allow access to the public work.

Use in a structural extermination mentioned in section 57 of O. Reg. 63/09.

Use in a land extermination described in section 67.2.

Use in a land extermination for the purpose of maintaining rights of way or easements that are not related to a public work.

Use of insecticides and fungicides on inground wooden poles only.

Forestry All pesticides, except for fumigant gases. Use in a land extermination performed for the purposes of forestry.
Landscape All pesticides, except for fumigant gases.

Use in a land extermination to maintain ornamental plantings intended for sale.

Use in a land extermination on residential, recreational, commercial or public land for one of the following uses:

  1. Use to maintain turf or ornamental plantings.
  2. Use on the outside of buildings or structures for the purpose of exterminating pests directly associated with turf or ornamental plantings.
  3. Use for the purpose of maintaining treed areas not exceeding one hectare in size.
  4. Use for the purpose of maintaining rights of way or easements that are not related to a public work.
  5. Use for the destruction, prevention or control of vegetation, as authorized under section 23, 28 or 29.
Exterminator Licences – Water extermination
Class of licence Pesticides authorized for use under the licence Conditions for use
Aquatic Vegetation Herbicides. Use in a water extermination.
Fish/Mollusc Pesticides labelled for use in a water extermination of fish, sea lamprey or molluscs. Use in a water extermination.
Mosquito/Biting Flies Insecticides labelled for use in an extermination of arthropods that bite, sting, are venomous or carry disease. Use in a water extermination.

Use in a land extermination mentioned in subsection 71 (2) of O. Reg. 63/09.

Supervisees and assistants

Persons who are appropriately supervised and trained in accordance with O. Reg. 63/09 may assist in the performance of specified extermination provided both the assistant and supervising exterminator meet legislated requirements. These supervisees and assistants may be trainees, technicians or Class 12 supervisees and are exempt from the requirement to hold an exterminator licence.

Class E Supervisees have different requirements.

Trainee

A person that is hired as an assistant to a licensed exterminator and who has not successfully completed a ministry approved pesticides safety training course and practical training from a licensed exterminator is described as a trainee.

  • A trainee requires direct supervision by a licensed exterminator at all times.
  • O. Reg. 63/09 defines a "trainee" to mean a person, other than a technician or licensed exterminator, who is at least 16 years of age and who performs exterminations or assists in the performance of exterminations under the supervision of a licensed exterminator.

Technician

A trainee that successfully completes a ministry approved pesticides safety training course.

O. Reg. 63/09 defines a "technician" to mean a person who is at least 16 years of age and who has, within the previous 24 months:

  1. successfully completed a course approved by the Director for technicians concerning basic pesticide safety, or
  2. satisfied the Director that he or she has equivalent qualifications to the qualifications described in clause (a) above.

For information regarding pesticide training courses for technicians contact:

University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus
1-888-620-9999
Ontario Pesticide Website

Pesticide Industry Council
1-800-265-5656
Pesticide Industry Council Website

Pesticide Industry Regulatory Council
1-800-615-9813
Pesticide Industry Regulatory Council Website

Conditions relating to supervised exterminations

O. Reg. 63/09 sets out conditions that must be met if a supervisee or assistant is performing or assisting in the performance of an extermination. It should be noted that the supervising exterminator must ensure that the public notice required by this regulation is provided. For convenience, a summary of the conditions is set out below, but refer to the regulation for the specific supervision requirements. [O. Reg. 63/09, s.46 and s.47].

Extermination requirements when performed by a supervisee
Supervisee Conditions
Technician or Exterminator Licence holder of a class other than the class that authorizes the extermination being performed
  1. The supervisee must not do any of the following:
    1. Select or recommend to a person a pesticide for use in an extermination.
    2. Select the method of application or the rate of application of a pesticide used in an extermination.
    3. Use a Class B pesticide.
    4. Perform an extermination mentioned in subsection 66(1), except in the presence of a licensed exterminator authorized to use the pesticide.
    5. Use a Class C rodenticide with a label that indicates that mixing or dilution is required in order for the pesticide to be used, except in the presence of a licensed exterminator authorized to use the pesticide.
    6. Use a Class C pesticide for a purpose that is indicated as a restricted use on the label.
    7. Perform an extermination mentioned in subsection 67(1).
  2. The supervisee must have readily available at the extermination site a work order, invoice, job sheet or other form of written instructions respecting the extermination, including the following information:
    1. The location of the extermination site.
    2. The pest to be exterminated.
    3. The name of the pesticide to be used and its registration number assigned to it under the Pest Control Products Act (S.C. 2002, c. 28) or the Fertilizers Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. F-10).
    4. The name and licence number of the supervising licensed exterminator.
    5. A unique number or other identifier by which the extermination is identified in the business records of the supervisee’s employer.
  3. When visited by the supervising licensed exterminator at the extermination site, the supervisee must request that the supervising licensed exterminator enter his or her licence number, signature and the date on the written instructions.
  4. The supervisee must carry or have readily available at any extermination site all written instructions that have been signed over the last 30 days by a supervising licensed exterminator.
Trainee The trainee must not do any of the following:
  1. Select or recommend to a person a pesticide for use in an extermination.
  2. Select the method of application or the rate of application of a pesticide used in an extermination.
  3. Use a Class B pesticide.
  4. Use a Class C or D pesticide, except in the presence of a licensed exterminator authorized to use the pesticide.
  5. Perform an extermination mentioned in subsection 67 (1).

Class E supervisee

A Class E supervisee may perform an extermination by means of a Class E pesticide for the purposes of an agricultural operation.

A Class E supervisee is a person who meets the conditions set out in O. Reg. 63/09 with respect to a supervisee and is supervised by a person who:

  • is at least 16 years of age
  • has successfully completed, an integrated pest management (IPM) training course described in subsection 45.1 (6) of O. Reg. 63/09
  • has been issued a document by the body that provided the course referred to in subclause (ii), confirming the person’s successful completion of the course

Conditions with respect to a Class E supervisee are:

  1. The Class E supervisee must not select the pesticide, application area or application rate of the pesticide.
  2. The Class E supervisee must have received instructions respecting the extermination that include the following:
    1. The location of each application area in or on which the Class E pesticide is to be used at the farm property.
    2. The application rate of each Class E pesticide that is to be used in the extermination.
    3. The directions referred to in subsection 9.1(3) with respect to the use of each Class E pesticide to be used in the extermination and instructions to comply with those directions.

Pesticide permits

Certain types of exterminations require both a pesticide licence and a permit.

Pesticide permits are issued by the local ministry regional office.

Exterminations that require pesticide permits are set out in the Pesticides Act and O. Reg. 63/09. For convenience, a summary of exterminations that require both a licence and a permit is set out below, but refer to the regulation for the prescribed exterminations.

  1. Certain fumigations of a building, portion of a building, or in a vehicle or structure that use a Class B pesticide.
  2. A structural extermination that uses a Class B fumigant gas to destroy bees.
  3. A land extermination that uses a pesticide that contains picloram.
  4. A land extermination that is performed by aerial application of a Class B pesticide (other exterminations performed using Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki for the purpose of maintaining a tree canopy not related to a crown forest).
  5. A land extermination that is performed by aerial application of a pesticide performed in connection with the management of a crown forest.
  6. All water exterminations, unless an exemption applies.

Questions regarding pesticide permits should be directed to the local ministry regional office.

For more information and resources, refer to Pesticide licences and permits.

Operator licences

Unless exempt under the regulation, any person that operates a pesticide extermination business in Ontario must hold an operator licence. If you engage in an activity or enterprise carried on for the purpose of causing an extermination or exterminations to be performed for fee or payment you must hold an operator licence.

An operator licence, if not renewed, expires on December 31 of the year in which it was issued.

To qualify for an operator licence, you must:

  • be at least 18, if the applicant is an individual; or if the applicant is a corporation or partnership, have one or more official representatives who are directors, officers or partners of the applicant and who are at least 18 years of age
  • be a licensed exterminator, if the applicant is an individual
  • submit to the Director a list of the names and licence numbers of all licensed exterminators employed by the applicant
  • if an applicant is a corporation or a partnership, submit to the Director a list of the official representatives

O. Reg. 63/09 sets out many requirements that persons required to hold an operator licence must meet, including:

  • have insurance coverage for the pesticide extermination business as outlined in s.93 of O. Reg. 63/09.
  • have a licenced exterminator in charge at each location who is normally present at least once during each business day and provide the ministry the licence number and contact information for each licensed exterminator in charge [s.87]
  • display his or her operator’s licence or a copy of the licence that is at least 8.5” x 11” in size in a prominent place at each location where the person carries on an extermination business [s.87]
  • ensure all vehicles used to transport or apply pesticides display a ministry issued operator sticker for the current year; [s.89]
  • ensure all of their employees possess the appropriate training, licence and/or supervision; [s.88]
  • ensure written notice is given to the Fire Department responsible for the area in which pesticides are stored (where appropriate). [s.112]

Exemptions

An operator’s licence is not required under the following circumstances:

  • If an extermination business only performs exterminations:
    • by means of a Class D pesticide that is,
      1. a tree wound dressing,
      2. a wood preservative,
      3. an insecticide bait that is enclosed by the manufacturer in a plastic or metal container that has been made in a way that prevents or minimizes access to the bait by humans and pets;
      4. an injection into trees, stumps or wooden poles
    • if the extermination is a structural extermination, by means of a Class D pesticide with a label that indicates that it contains no active ingredients other than,
      1. a soap,
      2. a mineral oil, or
      3. silicon dioxide, also known as diatomaceous earth
    • by means of a Class E pesticide by a person referred to in subsection 45.1 of O. Reg. 63/09 [s.92]
  • A municipality that performs a land extermination or a water extermination for another municipality by means of a Class B, C or D pesticide [s.91]
  • The extermination is performed by a farmer who meets the conditions and requirements described in the Table to section 43 of O. Reg. 63/09 [s.90]

Vehicle identification

A person required to hold an operator licence must ensure that a current identification marker, issued by the ministry, is affixed to the rear of all vehicles that store or transport pesticides. This includes pesticides stored or transported in the cab (passenger compartment) of a vehicle, in the trunk of a vehicle, in a tank mounted in/on a vehicle or in/on a trailer towed by the vehicle. Once the operator licence is issued, these identification markers are distributed to licensed operators based on the number of vehicles they currently have in use. The operator licence will act as a temporary identification marker until the identification marker(s) are received in the mail. Once an official vehicle identification marker is received, the person must affix the identification marker to the rear of the vehicle as stated above. [O. Reg. 63/09 s. 89]

Additional identification markers can be requested through your ministry account online.

Diagram of arrow pointing to identification marker on the trunk of the vehicle.

Note:

If a vehicle is left unsupervised (i.e., the person responsible is at any time not in view of the vehicle) and that vehicle holds a pesticide that is mixed or diluted or not, the vehicle must be in an area that is not accessible to the public or the pesticide must be locked in a compartment. In addition, a sign must be posted that has the words, "Warning" and "Authorized Persons Only" and the words, "Chemical Storage" or "Pesticide Storage". These signs are available through various safety and farm suppliers [O. Reg. 63/09 S. 108].

Operator insurance requirements

A person required to hold an operator licence must have specific insurance coverage that covers the operation of their pest control business. You cannot operate an extermination business in Ontario without insurance that meets the criteria outlined in s.93 of O. Reg. 63/09. These requirements are summarized below. Please note that insurance requirements will change on January 1, 2021 (see below).

  1. O. Reg. 63/09 made under the Pesticides Act requires that every operator of an extermination business in Ontario shall carry insurance.
  2. The contract of insurance shall provide for at least $1,000,000 of comprehensive coverage for liabilities of the operator and all of the operator’s employees, with respect to death, injury or property damage arising out of any one incident. Note: On January 1, 2021, this part (subsection 93 (4) of the Regulation) is amended by striking out “$1,000,000” and substituting “$2,000,000”.
  3. The contract of insurance shall also provide for pollution coverage for emissions or discharges of chemicals into the environment as part of the business operated under authority of the licence. This contract of insurance shall provide for at least $200,000 of pollution coverage with respect to death, injury or property damage arising out of any one incident. Note: On January 1, 2021, this part (subsection 93 (5) of the Regulation) is amended by striking out “$200,000” and substituting “$1,000,000”.
  4. In addition: If the operator’s extermination business involves the airborne application of pesticides, the contract of insurance shall include coverage for liability for off target pesticide disposition in an amount of not less than
    1. $100,000 with respect to death or injury arising out of any one incident (Note: On January 1, 2021, this part (clause 93 (6) (a) of the Regulation) is amended by striking out “$100,000” and substituting “$2,000,000”.); and
    2. $25,000 with respect to property damage arising out of any one incident. Note: On January 1, 2021, this part (clause 93 (6) (b) of the Regulation) is amended by striking out “$25,000” and substituting “$2,000,000”.
  5. The liability coverage for the insurance must be at least $25,000 to each employee of the operator provided that the contract of insurance may limit the insurer’s liability to $50,000 for any one incident. Note: On January 1, 2021, this part (subsection 93 (2) of the Regulation) is amended by striking out “$25,000” and substituting “$1,000,000” and by striking out “$50,000” at the end and substituting “$1,000,000”.
  6. However, if the operator provides evidence that their business is covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and the operator is paying, and continues to pay, all premiums and any other the amounts required under that Act, as they fall due, then the operator does not need the liability coverage in the contract of insurance as described in paragraph 6, above.
  7. The contract of insurance may allow the insured to pay a deductible for the first $2,500 of each claim for which an amount of coverage is required. Note: On January 1, 2021, subsection 93 (8) of the Regulation is revoked.
  8. The contract of insurance must include a clause that states that the insurer shall give 30 days’ notice before any cancellation of the insurance by either the insurer or the insured. The 30 day notice shall be provided by registered mail to the Director appointed under the Pesticides Act. The contract of insurance shall remain in full force and effect until after the 30 day notice period has expired.
  9. The contract of insurance must include a clause that states that the insurer shall pay any claims covered by the contract of insurance to claimants who have recovered a judgment. The insurer shall pay the claimant even if the insured has taken an act that has made the policy void, has defaulted, or has given the insurer a defense to an action by the insured. This provision in the contract of insurance shall not limit the insurer’s right to later recover the payment from the insured.

Vendor licences

Unless exempt, a person or business that sells, offers to sell or transfers pesticides must hold a pesticide vendor licence. There are three types of vendor licences:

  • Limited vendor licence
  • General vendor licence
  • Treated Seed vendor licence

Exemptions

A vendor licence is not required under the following circumstances.

  • If you only sell, offer to sell, or transfer the following [O. Reg. 63/09 s. 96 (1)]
    • A Class D pesticide that:
      • is in a container that is less than or equal to one litre or one kilogram in size,
      • has a label that does not indicate that any mixing or dilution is required in order to use the pesticide, and
      • is not a controlled sales pesticide.
    • A pesticide that is to be transported out of Ontario.
    • A Class D pesticide that is a paint, stain, sealer or wood preservative, if no food is prepared, sold or stored at the sales outlet where the pesticide is sold or transferred.
    • A Class D pesticide that was classified as a Class 6 pesticide under this Regulation immediately before section 3 of Ontario Regulation 134/20 came into force. [O. Reg. 134/20 s.55(1). This exemption will be revoked on January 1, 2021.
  • If you are a direct-to-farm vendor as defined in O. Reg. 63/09 that sells, offers to sell, or transfers Class 12 pesticides only and you meet the following requirements. [O. Reg. 63/09 s. 96.1]
    • The direct-to-farm vendor must purchase the Class E pesticide from a person who holds a vendor licence of the Treated Seed class;
    • With respect to the sale or transfer of the Class E pesticide, the direct-to-farm vendor must collect the information and documents that, if the sale or transfer were carried out in accordance with s. 98 of O. Reg. 63/09, would be required to be provided by a purchaser or transferee; and
    • The direct-to-farm vendor must provide to the licensed vendor referred to in paragraph 1 the information and a copy of the documents referred to in paragraph 2.

Limited vendor licence

Section 98.2 of O. Reg. 63/09 sets out that a Limited vendor licence authorizes the holder to sell Class D pesticides and Class B pesticides that are to be used to repel any animal and if the only active ingredient is capsaicin (e.g. bear repellent). Note that controlled sales pesticides must have controlled access. [O. Reg. 63/09, s. 101]

For more information, refer to Guide to Pesticide Classes.

General vendor licence

A General vendor licence authorizes the holder to sell Class A, B, C and D pesticides, whether wholesale or retail. A General vendor must employ a full-time, certified outlet representative that has completed the Pesticide Vendor Certification Course.

For more information on training and certification for pesticide vendors, visit:

University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus
120 Main Street East
Ridgetown, Ontario
N0P 2C0
519-674-2230
Toll-free: 1-800-652-8573
Email: rcopep@uoguelph.ca
Website: www.opep.ca

Or visit pesticides training and certification.

Treated seed vendor licence

A Treated Seed vendor licence authorizes the holder to sell, offer to sell or transfer Class E pesticides.

The Treated Seed vendor must provide a list of each treated seed sales representative to the ministry as part of the licence application. The Treated Seed vendor must also ensure that each treated seed sales representative receives training on the requirements set out in O. Reg. 63/09. The Treated Seed vendor must keep a record of the name of the treated seed sales representative, and the date of training.

A person who does not sell treated seeds but provides the service of treating the seed with a pesticide that contains imidacloprid, clothianidin or thiamethoxam (custom seed treater) must follow certain requirements as per O. Reg. 63/09.

Forms and guidelines can be downloaded by visiting Neonicotinoid rules for seed vendors.

For more information and resources, refer to:

Sale and transfer of pesticides

Sections 98-98.3 of O. Reg. 63/09 set out who is authorized to sell or transfer each class of pesticide and to whom. Please refer to the regulation for the requirements.

Pesticide storage and display

No person shall store a pesticide in such a manner that the pesticide is likely to come into contact with food or drink intended for human or animal consumption.  [O. Reg. 63/09 s. 107]

Class A, B, C or a Class D pesticide that is not mentioned in subsection 96(1) pesticides stored by vendors must be stored in accordance with the following rules: [O. Reg. 63/09 s.109].

  • Stored in such a manner that the pesticide is not likely to impact the health or safety of any person.
  • Stored in an area maintained in good repair and in a clean and orderly condition with sufficient precautions taken to prevent the pesticide from contaminating the natural environment or any other pesticide stored in the same area.
  • Stored in an area where a Chemical or Pesticide Storage warning sign is prominently displayed and at all entrances to the area where pesticides are stored.
  • Stored in an area where emergency telephone numbers (i.e. fire department, hospital, poison control centre) are prominently displayed.

These rules do not apply with respect to storage by a person of any of the following pesticides on property occupied by the person for personal use of the pesticide in or around a home:

  • a Class D pesticide
  • a Class B pesticide with a label that indicates use to repel any animal and that its only active ingredient is capsaicin or capsaicin and related capsaicinoids

A person who displays a pesticide shall ensure the following (from O. Reg. 63/09 s.103):

  • that a Class A, B, or C pesticide or a controlled sales pesticide is displayed in a manner that prevents any person other than the licensed vendor or the licensed vendor’s employees from having ready access to the pesticide.
  • that none of the following pesticides is displayed in a manner that would subject human or animal food, beverages or personal use items to pesticide contamination:
    • a Class A, B, or C pesticide
    • a Class D pesticide that is not mentioned in subsection 96(1) of O. Reg. 63/09

Certified farmers

Farmers are individuals who own an agricultural operation or who operate an agricultural operation on a regular basis.

An "agricultural operation" means an agricultural, aquacultural or horticultural operation and, subject to subsection (2) of O. Reg. 63/09, includes any of the following activities done for the purposes of any of those operations:

  1. Growing, producing or raising farm animals.
  2. The production of agricultural crops, including greenhouse crops, maple syrup, mushrooms, nursery stock, tobacco, trees and turf grass, and any additional agricultural crops prescribed by the regulations made under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002.
  3. The production of eggs, cream or milk.
  4. The operation of agricultural machinery and equipment.
  5. The processing by a farmer of the products produced primarily from the farmer’s agricultural operation.
  6. Activities that are a necessary but ancillary part of an agricultural operation such as the use of transport vehicles or storage containers or maintenance of a shelterbelt for the purposes of the agricultural operation.
  7. The management of materials containing nutrients for farm purposes.
  8. The production of wood from a farm woodlot, if at least one of the activities described in paragraphs 1 to 7 is carried out on the property where the farm woodlot is located.

If you are a commercial farmer, you must pass the Grower Pesticide Safety Course to become a certified farmer and/or to purchase and use Class B and C pesticides on your farm.

You do not need a Grower Pesticide Safety Course certificate to purchase or use Class D pesticides on your own farm or a farm you operate on a regular basis.

Farmers who are not certified may continue to purchase and use Class C pesticides that were classified as a Class 4 pesticide under O. Reg 63/09 immediately before section 3 of O. Reg 134/20 came into force. This exemption will be revoked on January 1, 2021.

Learn more about pesticides training and certification for farmers and farm assistants, or contact:

University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus
120 Main Street East
Ridgetown, Ontario
N0P 2C0
519-674-2230
Toll-free: 1-800-652-8573
Email: rcopep@uoguelph.ca
Website: www.opep.ca

Section 43 of O. Reg. 63/09 sets exemptions from requiring an exterminator licence for certain exterminations if a farmer is certified through the Grower Pesticide Safety Course. For convenience, a summary of the exemptions is provided below, but please refer to the regulation for further details.

Qualified farmer
Description of extermination that may be performed Conditions related to the extermination
A fumigation of groundhog burrows performed in the ground for the purpose of controlling groundhogs by means of a fumigant gas that contains aluminum phosphide.
  1. The extermination must be performed for the purposes of the agricultural operation owned or operated on a regular basis by the farmer who is exempt under subsection 43 (1) of O. Reg. 63/09.
  2. The farmer must ensure that,
    1. the burrows do not open into a building,
    2. all burrow entrances are at least 10 metres from a building, and
    3. the farmer and every other person present have adequate respiratory protection during the introduction of the fumigant gas.
Any of the following exterminations:
  1. An extermination performed by means of a Class B pesticide that is not a fumigant gas.
  2. An extermination performed by means of a Class C pesticide.
  3. An extermination described in subsection 67(1).
  1. The extermination must be performed for the purposes of the agricultural operation owned or operated on a regular basis by the farmer who is exempt under subsection 43 (1) of O. Reg. 63/09.
  2. If the extermination is a structural extermination, the farmer must meet the following conditions:
    1. If the extermination is performed by means of a pesticide containing 4-amino-pyridine, strychnine or zinc phosphide, he or she must meet the requirements set out in section 66 of O. Reg. 63/09.
    2. If the extermination is an extermination mentioned in subsection 67(1), the farmer must meet the requirements set out in subsection 67(3) and another farmer who meets the conditions set out in clauses 43(1)(c) and (d) or a licensed exterminator whose licence authorizes the performance of the extermination must be present during the extermination.
  3. The extermination must not be performed by aerial application.
A land extermination performed by means of one of the following:
  1. A Class B pesticide that is not a fumigant gas.
  2. A Class C pesticide.
  3. A Class D pesticide.
  1. The extermination must be performed for the purposes of an agricultural operation other than the operation that is owned or operated on a regular basis by the farmer who is exempt under subsection 43 (1) of O. Reg. 63/09.
  2. If the farmer who is exempt under subsection 43 (1) of O. Reg. 63/09 uses a piece of equipment to apply the pesticide, only one piece of equipment must be used at any time and that equipment must be normally used on an agricultural operation that he or she owns or operates on a regular basis.
  3. No money must be paid for the extermination.
  4. The extermination must not be performed by aerial application.
  5. The farmer who is exempt under subsection 43 (1) of O. Reg. 63/09 must not be assisted in the performance of the extermination by any person other than another farmer who meets the conditions set out in clauses 43 (1) (c) and (d) of O. Reg. 63/09.

Supervised and assistant farmers

A person that is 16 years of age, has successfully completed an approved course for handling and using pesticides on an agricultural operation, and performs an extermination while under the supervision of a Certified Farmer is considered a Supervised Farmer. A supervised farmer is restricted from performing certain tasks and supervising farmers are required to comply with certain conditions as described in section 44 of O. Reg. 63/09.

These rules apply to all supervised farmers, including family members, farm employees and seasonal workers. Similar rules apply to a person (assistant farmer) who assists with an extermination but does not perform the extermination (see section 45 of the regulation).

All supervised farmers must have formal pesticide safety training, recognized by the ministry, before they can use a Class B or C pesticide under the supervision of a Certified Farmer.

There are two training options for supervised and assistant farmers. Supervised and assistant farmers can:

  1. Complete a course with respect to assisting a farmer in the handling and use of pesticides (see section 44 (1) (c) of O. Reg. 63/09). Often this course is an on-farm training session presented by a qualified assistant instructor trained through Ridgetown College; or,
  2. Complete a course with respect to the handling and use of pesticides for the purposes of an agricultural operation (see section 43 (1) (c) (i) of O. Reg. 63/09). This course is referred to as the Grower Pesticide Safety Course (GPSC). Supervised farmers and assistant farmers choosing this training option are required to attend the course but are not required to write the certification examination.

For more information about the Grower Pesticide Safety Course contact:

University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus
120 Main Street East
Ridgetown, Ontario
N0P 2C0
519-674-2230
Toll-free: 1-800-652-8573
Email: rcopep@uoguelph.ca
Website: www.opep.ca

Or visit pesticides training and certification.

Supervised farmers
Conditions related to the extermination Conditions related to supervision of the supervised farmer
  1. The farmer must not,
    1. purchase, recommend or select the pesticide
    2. select the application rate of the pesticide
    3. calibrate equipment used to apply the pesticide
    4. select the appropriate means of storage of the pesticide
    5. select the appropriate means of disposal or recycling of an empty container that has held the pesticide, or
    6. transport or dispose of the pesticide that has become waste
  2. If the farmer uses a Class B or C pesticide with a label that indicated that it contains 4-amino-pyridine, strychnine or zinc phosphide in a structural extermination, he or she must meet all of the requirements set out under subsections 66 (1) and (2). of O. Reg. 63/09.
  3. The farmer must not perform an extermination mentioned in subsection 67 (1).
  1. The supervising farmer must be present at the extermination site or the supervising farmer must:
    1. provide the supervisee with written instructions for the proper use of the pesticide
    2. ensure that the instructions are readily available at the extermination site
    3. be available for immediate response through an effective communication system
    4. be able to attend at the extermination site to respond to an emergency situation within a period of time that is reasonable in the circumstances
  2. The supervising farmer must not supervise, at any one time, more than three farmers who are exempt under subsection 44 (1).
  3. The supervising farmer must ensure that the use, storage, transportation and disposal of pesticides for the purposes of the agricultural operation are carried out in accordance with the Act and this Regulation.
  4. The supervising farmer must ensure that the conditions applicable to the extermination set out in Column 2 of the Table to section 43 of O. Reg. 63/09 are met.

Fire department notification

Ontario Regulation 63/09 requires that:

  • Any person who stores a Class A pesticide must give a written notice annually to the fire department responsible for the area in which the pesticide is stored.
  • Every manufacturer, licensed operator or licensed vendor who stores a Class B, C or D pesticide must give a written notice annually to the fire department responsible for the area in which the pesticide is stored [Section 112 of O. Reg. 63/09].

Written notice must be provided to the local fire department on a Fire Department Pesticide Storage card. These cards are distributed to operators and vendors with their licence through the online system. Additional cards are available online in English and French through the Central Forms Repository.

You must complete this card and forward it to your local fire department if you store a Class A pesticide, or if you are a manufacturer*, operator or vendor who stores a Class B, C or D pesticide.

The card must identify the person responsible for the pesticide, more specifically:

  • for a General vendor, identify a certified outlet representative;
  • for a Limited vendor, identify a person having charge, management or control of storage or display of a pesticide;
  • for a manufacturer, identify the owner or person having the charge, management or control of storage of a pesticide at a manufacturing or formulation plant.

If you store these pesticides in more than one location, you must notify the local fire department in each area where the pesticides are stored.

*A manufacturer means a person who carries on business respecting the:

  1. Formulation of a Class A pesticide into another pesticide,
  2. Treatment of a seed with a pesticide to produce a treated seed
  3. Manufacturing of a pesticide into a product,
  4. Incorporation of a pesticide into a product,
  5. Packaging or distribution of a pesticide or product containing a pesticide.

Report a discharge of a pesticide

Under section 29 of the Pesticides Act, a discharge of a pesticide that is out of the normal course of events must be reported to the ministry’s Spills Action Centre when it causes, or is likely to cause, any of the following adverse effects:

  • any impairment to the quality of the environment - air, water, land
  • any injury or damage to property, plants or animal life
  • harm or material discomfort
  • adverse health effects
  • impairment to safety
  • loss of enjoyment of normal use of property
  • interference with normal business

Remember:

In the event of any fire, accident, spill, or theft that may result in the release of a pesticide into the environment or if the discharge causes, or is likely to cause any of the adverse effects listed above, you must report the discharge immediately by calling:

Spills Action Centre
1-800-268-6060

Report pollution and spills

Also note that other requirements of the Environmental Protection Act may apply with respect to spills of pesticides.

Compliance and enforcement

The ministry manages its approach to compliance and enforcement through:

  • education and outreach
  • inspections
  • response to incidents
  • voluntary abatement
  • orders
  • tickets
  • prosecutions

Questions or non-compliance reports should be directed to a ministry district office during regular business hours.

After business hours, call the ministry’s Pollution Hotline toll-free at 1-866-MOETIPS (6638477).

Proper disposal of pesticides

Prior to disposing of unused pesticides, consider contacting the manufacturer (see product label for details) and asking if the product can be returned. A licensed Exterminator may also transfer pesticides to another licenced Exterminator authorized to use the pesticide in an extermination.

If returning or transferring the pesticide is not an option, unused pesticides must be disposed of in accordance with O. Reg. 63/09 and Regulation 347  (General - Waste Management) under the Environmental Protection Act. In Ontario, all pesticide wastes must be disposed of at a waste disposal facility that has been approved by the ministry. In addition, pesticide wastes can only be transported by a waste management company that has obtained the appropriate approvals from the ministry.

Disposal of a pesticide by licensed exterminators is a multi-step process that requires classifying the waste and then determining the appropriate actions for disposal based on this classification. Questions regarding the proper disposal of waste pesticides should be directed to the local ministry regional office.

Notification signs

With limited exception, notification signs must be posted at any location that pesticides are applied or stored. Specific information relating to the size and contents of the signs and information about when and where each sign should be posted is detailed in O. Reg. 63/09.

For more information, refer to Sample warning signs for pesticide use.

Related links

Pesticides Act

O. Reg. 63/09

Controlled sales handout

Bear repellent handout

Sample warning signs for pesticide use

Updated: September 01, 2021
Published: November 18, 2015