Pesticides and Herbicides

Many pesticides can no longer be used for garden and lawn beautification or maintenance on residential or District land, even if they are legally allowed for sale.

Pesticide and Herbicide Use Bylaw

The District of Squamish adopted a Pesticide and Herbicide Use Bylaw (No. 2787, 2020) in February 2021. This Bylaw prohibits the application of a pesticide for the purpose of maintaining outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers, other ornamental plants and turf on lands used for residential purposes and municipal lands.

View the bylaw

What is a pesticide?

The word ‘pesticide’ is a blanket term that includes herbicides (for plants), insecticides (for insects), rodenticides (for rodents such as mice and rats) and many other substances that are meant to control pests. Herbicides are the most common types of pesticides.

The Pesticide and Herbicide Use Bylaw does not apply to the application of a pesticide that is:

a)   an allowed pesticide;

b)   applied to manage pests that transmit human diseases or impact agriculture or forestry; 

c)   applied on the residential areas of farms;

d)   applied on buildings or inside buildings;

e)   applied on lands used by agriculture, forestry, transportation, public utilities or pipelines;

f)   applied to control or destroy invasive species in accordance with the Integrated Pest Management Act (B.C.) and the Invasive Species Management Bylaw (2786, 2020); or

g)   applied by the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council in accordance with the Integrated Pest Management Act (B.C.). 

Notably, the Bylaw only prohibits the use of pesticides on outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers, other ornamental plants and turf on lands used for residential purposes and municipal lands. Therefore, uses beyond this prohibition are inherently exempt. For example, the Bylaw does not apply to the application of a pesticide for:

  • purification of water for human or animal consumption;
  • chemical treatment of pools or hot tubs (also see Residential Hot Tub and Pool Drainage Guidelines);
  • maintenance of a sports fields, golf courses, vegetable gardens or hard surfaces like paving stones;
  • management of wasp nests.

Furthermore, the District does not have the authority to regulate the sale or transportation of pesticides.

Most conventional pesticides, including products labeled herbicide, insecticide, fungicide or combined fertilizer/herbicide products (often referred to as “weed and feed”) are now restricted, except:

  • Pesticides listed as Allowed Pesticides on this notice; or
  • Biological pest controls including nematodes, lady beetles and bacterial pesticides such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria or fungi.

Read the label. Common active ingredients in most conventional pesticides, such as 2,4-D, Mecoprop, Dicamba, Glyphosate, Carbaryl and Malathion are now restricted under the Bylaw. However, many safer alternatives are available, effective and exempt from the Bylaw. If the “active ingredient” on the product label is listed as an allowed pesticide (see list below), it is still allowed by this Bylaw.

Pesticides are hazardous substances and must be disposed of properly. GFL’s Recycling Depot (38950 Queens Way) and the Squamish Landfill accept consumer pesticides bearing both the product label and the poison symbol. 

In cases of non-compliance, the Bylaw enacts fines of up to $50,000. If a landscaper or lawn care specialist maintains your property, it is important for you to confirm that they comply with this new Bylaw, together with ensuring they are certified and licensed professionals.

Did you know that, if you choose to use a pesticide that is not an allowed pesticide for uses that are not governed by the Bylaw (for example, within a vegetable garden or on fruit trees), you must have a Residential Pesticide Applicator Certificate? This certificate is obtained by taking a free online course hosted by the province and is governed by the provincial Integrated Pest Management Regulation.

For more information, visit:

Residential Pesticide Applicator Certificate SITE

Allowed Pesticides and Alternative Solutions

The following pesticides are not regulated by the District of Squamish’s Pesticide and Herbicide Use Bylaw.
(current to December 1, 2021)

Anti-fouling paints
Antisapstain wood preservatives
Asphalt solids (pruning paints)
Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk)
Bactericides used in petroleum products
Boron compounds
Boron compounds with up to 5% copper for insect control and wood preeservation
Corn cellulose
Corn gluten
D-trans-allethrin (also referred to as d-cis-trans allethrin)
Fatty acids
Ferric phosphate
Ferrous sulphate
Formic acid
Hard surface disinfectants
Insect repellents
Insect semiochemicals, including pheromones, kairomones, attractants & repellents
Insect bait stations
Laundry additives
Material preservatives
Mineral oils for insect and mite control
Naphthalene for fabric protection
N-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide
Oxalic acid
Paradichlorobenzene for fabric protection
Pesticides in aerosol containers
Pesticides registered under the Pest Control Products Act (Canada) for application to pets
Piperonyl butoxide
Plant growth regulators
Polybutene bird repellents
Silica aerogel also referred to as silica gel, amorphous silica and amorphous silica gel
Silicon dioxide, also referred to as “diatomaceous earth”
Sulphur, including lime sulphur, sulphide sulphur and calcium polysulphide
Swimming pool algicidesband bactericides
Wood preservatives
Zinc strips

Note: This list is compiled from Schedule 2 “Excluded Pesticides” of the BC Integrated Pest Management Regulation.

The following table includes natural and Allowed Pesticides solutions to common pest problems. Carefully read the label and follow all instructions and safety precautions when using pesticides. 

Pests Natural Solution Allowed Pesticide
Active ingredient (common name)
Ants Pour boiling water over anthills. Silicon Dioxide (Diatomaceous Earth), Boric Acid (Borax)
Aphids Remove with a strong jet of water, physically remove or prune. Soap (Insecticidal Soap) Fatty Acid, Pyrethrins
Chinch Bugs Maintain a healthy lawn and dethatch. Soap (Insecticidal Soap)
Earwigs Trap using rolled up newspaper filled with peanut butter and discard. Silicon Dioxide (Diatomaceous Earth), Boric Acid (Borax)
Grubs Maintain a healthy lawn. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), Nematodes
European Chafer Beetle Grubs Maintain a healthy lawn, consider alternative ground covers and landscaping to turf lawn. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora nematodes
Leaf chewers (caterpillars) Physically remove. Soap (Insecticidal Soap), Fatty acid, Silicon Dioxide (Diatomaceous Earth), Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
Leatherjackets Maintain a healthy lawn. Nematodes
Mealy Bugs Dab with alcohol on a cotton swab. Soap (Insecticidal Soap), Fatty Acid
Scale Scrape off stem, prune infested branches. Soap (Insecticidal Soap), Fatty Acid (in early stages), Mineral Oil (Dormant or Horticultural Oil)
Snails and Slugs Trap by placing a small container filled with honey, beer or yeast solution on the ground. Silicon Dioxide (Diatomaceous Earth), Ferric Phosphate (iron phosphate)
Blackspot, Rust, Powdery Mildew On lawn, over seed with good quantity grass seed mix. On plants, prune well beyond the affected area. Avoid watering leaves. Sulphur
Clover Clover is good for lawns and provides nitrogen.  
Crabgrass Mulch in gardens. In lawns, over seed, raise mower blades to 6 to 9 cm and weed out by hand. Corn Gluten Meal
Creeping Charlie Over seed, raise mower blades to 6 to 9 cm and weed out by hand. Acetic Acid (Horticultural vinegar)
Dandelions and weeds in lawn
Mulch in gardens. In lawns, over seed, raise mower blades to 6 to 9 cm and weed out by hand and/or cut before they go to seed. Corn Gluten Meal
Moss Dig out and aerate lawn. Lower soil acidity level with lime. Acetic Acid (Horticultural vinegar)
Weeds in interlocking patio, cracks in pavement Pull out by hand and/or pour boiling water over. Corn Gluten Meal



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Disclaimer: This content is a summary of the District’s Environmental Bylaws & Guidelines. It is not legal advice and does not provide an interpretation of the law. In the event of any conflict or difference between this webpage and the bylaws or guidelines, the bylaws or guidelines are correct and legal and must be followed.