Pesticides (home lawns and gardens)
Learn about pesticides that can be sold and used for cosmetic purposes in lawns and gardens, how to properly dispose of pesticides, and report the illegal use of banned products.
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Allowed for cosmetic use
You can only use certain pesticides at home and in the garden, including biopesticides and certain lower-risk pesticides.
List of Active Ingredients Authorized for Cosmetic Uses (Allowable List)
You are only allowed to use pesticides that solely contain active ingredients found on the List of Active Ingredients Authorized for Cosmetic Uses (Allowable List).
Some common household examples of these pesticides include:
- corn gluten meal
Read the list of active ingredients authorized for cosmetic uses (Allowable list)
You can also use pesticides to protect health or safety from pests such as:
- wasps or mosquitoes
- plants that are poisonous to humans by touch, such as poison ivy and giant hogweed
- fleas or ticks that bite pets
- indoor pests, rodents, or pests that can cause structural damage to the home
- rodents that may spread diseases
Banned for cosmetic use
By law, you cannot use certain pesticides to kill weeds and insects on:
- vegetable and ornamental gardens
You cannot use pesticides that contain certain ingredients, including:
These pesticides are banned for cosmetic purposes because they may pose an unnecessary risk to human health, particularly children’s health.
Controlled sales pesticides
The sale of some pesticides (controlled sales pesticides) are controlled by law.
This means they are not readily available on store shelves and typically need to be specially requested.
To buy a controlled sales pesticide, you need to:
- speak to a store manager for service (pesticides can be locked)
- read the information sheet given by the seller and follow the instructions for allowed use
Restricted controlled sales products
Some restricted products (for example, bear repellents) are also controlled sales products.
To buy restricted controlled sales products, you must be 18 years of age or older.
A licensed seller will give you an information sheet and keep a record of sale that includes your:
- name and address
- never dispose pesticides in the garbage
- never pour pesticides down the drain or sewer
- use newspaper to wrap empty containers of pesticides
Stewardship Ontario runs a program called Make the Drop where you can search for a facility near you that accepts household hazardous waste containers and items (e.g., batteries, propane tanks).
If you're unsure or have questions about how to properly dispose of a certain pesticide, contact your local ministry district office.
Report the use of banned pesticides
If you believe someone is using a banned pesticide, contact a local ministry district office during regular business hours.
After business hours, please contact: