Pesticide application on green spaces, golf courses and for pest management
Pesticides are sometimes used for the maintenance of green spaces and golf courses, as well as for pest management. Pesticides should be used as little as possible and products that are least harmful to human health and the environment should be preferred. This is why companies must be licensed and users certified to apply pesticides in these sectors. Compliance with specific rules is also mandatory.
Permit and certificate requirements
If your company applies pesticides for green space or golf course maintenance, it will need to hold a Sub-class C4 or D4 Application for maintaining green spaces permit.
If you personally apply pesticides, you will need to hold a Sub-class CD4 Application for maintaining green spaces certificate or be supervised by an on-site holder of this type of certificate. See the list of conditions (French) for details on lawn application of pesticides without holding a certificate.
As of July 6, a Sub-class C11 or D11 permit, “Application on golf courses,” will be required for this activity. If you personally apply the pesticides, make sure you hold a golf course application certificate (Sub-class CD11) or work under the supervision of the holder of such a certificate.
If your company applies pesticides for pest management, it will need to hold a Sub-class C5 or D5 permit Application for pest management permit.
If you personally apply pesticides for this purpose, you will need to hold a Sub-class CD5 Application for pest management or be supervised by an on-site holder of this type of certificate.
If your company fumigates with the following types of gases in closed or confined spaces, it must hold an Application par fumigation (sub-class C6 or D6) permit:
- Methyl bromide
- Carbon dioxide
- Sulfuryl fluoride
- Ethylene oxide
If you fumigate with the above pesticides, you must hold an Application by fumigation (sub-class CD6) certificate or work under the supervision of a holder of this type of certificate who is on-site when the activity is carried out.
If your company applies pesticides for the maintenance of indoor plants, make sure it holds an Application in Buildings for Horticultural Purposes permit (Sub-class C10 or D10).
If you personally apply the pesticides, make sure you hold an Application in Buildings for Horticultural Purposes certificate (Sub-class CD10) or work under the supervision of a holder of such a certificate.
If you are a permit holder, you must keep and retain a register of your pesticide purchases, sales and utilization. Depending on your type of permit, you may use the registre d’achat et d’utilisation de pesticides – permis de catégorie C (XLSX 80 Kb) (French) template or the registre d’achat et d’utilisation de pesticides – permis de catégorie D (XLSX 51 Kb) (French) one.
As of July 6, 2025, it will be prohibited to apply the most high-risk pesticides to lawn surfaces, trees, shrubs, vegetable gardens, flower beds, inert materials, inside homes and for the maintenance of indoor plants.
Mixing class 1, 2 or 3 commercial pesticides and filling or emptying a sprayer must be performed in a retention facility.
- Use only registered pesticides and follow the instructions on the label;
- No one other than persons involved in the application should be on-site nor exposed to the pesticides used;
- Pets must not be exposed to the pesticides;
- Surfaces and/or objects not to be treated must not be contaminated;
- All building entranceways must be shut to avoid pesticide infiltration;
- Maintain a distance of 3 metres from the boundary of the grounds of a daycare centre or educational institution if the application is carried out during activities taking place inside or outside the establishment;
- Compliance with the distances for the storage, preparation and application of pesticides for agricultural purposes (PDF 290 Kb) distancing table is mandatory.
The following rules apply to green space maintenance:
- Some pesticides are not meant for lawn application. Check the names of prohibited commercial pesticides (French) prior to use;
- Do not apply pesticides mixed with fertilizers on lawn surfaces;
- Post a sign (PDF 231 Kb) (French) at all access points if the area is fenced in or otherwise bounded (for example, by a hedge) after applying a pesticide to a lawn or paved surface or on trees and ornamental shrubs. If the area is not fenced in, or otherwise bounded, signs must be posted every 20 metres or less around the grounds.
If you apply a pesticide inside a home for pest management purposes, make sure you:
- Inform the occupants concerned by means of a written notice (PDF 185 Kb) (French) after the application;
- Use a pesticide in solid form to control rodents in traps that prevent contact with a person or non-targeted animal.
If you apply aerosol treatment for pest management, the following is mandatory:
- Do not use foggers inside residential buildings;
- Post a sign (PDF 207 Kb) (French) at every access point when work begins.
Before fumigating in a confined area make sure:
- that no one except the individual that applies the pesticide is on site or exposed to the pesticides;
- that farm animals or pets have been evacuated and are not exposed to the pesticides;
- that all openings are sealed;
- that each access point cannot be used and that a sign (PDF 195 Kb) (French) prohibiting access is posted on it.
Compliance with the by-laws of Québec municipalities that regulate the use of pesticides (French) is mandatory. Read the Commercial pesticide application webpage for information about the general rules that apply to the mixing and application of pesticides.
SAgE pesticides provides information on pesticides used for green space and golf course maintenance.
Possession de pesticides
As of July 6, 2024, it will be prohibited for the holder of a permit or certificate to possess a pesticide unless he holds a permit or certificate that allows its use.
For safe ways to dispose of these products, visit the Pesticide Waste page.
Pesticide application in daycare centres and educational institutions
Only certain lower risk pesticides are authorized for indoor and outdoor daycare and school use. Check the trade names of the pesticides authorized at the specific locations.
For certain specific problems, you can apply other pesticides under certain conditions (PDF 6.86 Mb) (French). These include the following:
- Subject to exceptions, you must notify the administration of the establishment by means of a written notice at least 24 hours and no more than 5 days before the application. If the written notice is given more than 48 hours before, you must notify the administration of your arrival at least one hour beforehand.
- Regardless of the product used, you cannot apply it during activity periods, whether they take place indoors or outdoors.
- You must ensure that a minimum of 12 or 24 hours have elapsed before the resumption of services or activities in the treated area, depending on the pesticide applied or the establishment concerned, and a sufficient aeration period may be required.
Application of pesticides on golf courses
Be sure to maintain a distance of at least 3 metres from the boundary of a golf course or residential building located on such grounds.
Signage (PDF 204 Kb) (French) must be posted at the sign-in desk and at each treated tee-off of treated holes.
Concerning pesticide reduction plans for golf courses, they aim to reduce health and environmental risks by decreasing the quantities of pesticides applied and promoting the least harmful products through the adoption of integrated pest management.
As such, if you apply pesticides on your golf course (or subcontract their application), you are required to submit an agrologist-signed reduction plan to the Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP) at three-year intervals. Information required in these plans is available in the Modèle de plan de réduction des pesticides sur les terrains de golf (DOCX 686 Kb) (French).
Pesticide reduction plans must be forwarded to your regional MELCCFP office or by email (DOCX 119 Kb) (French) by April 3 of the year that follows the last season considered in the three-year plan. For example, the plan for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 seasons is due before April 3, 2024.
The Bilan des plans de réduction des pesticides sur les terrains de golf au Québec (PDF 2.65 Mb) (French) is prepared on the basis of information received in the reduction plans.
Rationalizing pesticide use
Exposure to pesticides
If you have been exposed to pesticides and do not feel well, call the Poison Control Centre (in French only) immediately at 1 800 463-5060 and follow instructions. If you are seriously ill, go to the emergency room of a hospital and bring the pesticide container label information with you or note the name and registration number of the product to show the triage nurse.
Health Canada collects pesticide incident reports .
- Criteria for determining active ingredients prohibited in urban areas (French) (PDF 777 Kb)
- Rules for the application of pesticides in daycare centres and educational institutions (French) (PDF 517 Kb)
- Pesticides Management Code – Reference guide (French) (PDF 6.86 Mb)
- Main regulatory obligations of C5 and D5 permit holders (French) (PDF 1.95 Mb)
- Main regulatory obligations of C4 and D4 permit holders (French) (PDF 3.00 Mb)
- New requirements for holders of a pesticide use permit in the maintenance of green areas (French) (PDF 345 Kb)
Last update: February 23, 2024