Controlling biting or stinging insects
Stinging insects are a common source of inconvenience. Gnat (commonly called black fly) and mosquito bites can cause itching and even allergic reactions, while some mosquitos are vectors of pathogens that include West Nile Fever.
Some municipalities and tourism organizations take steps to control these insects and the problems they cause in order to make daily activities less of a nuisance.
Pesticides used to control the larvae of stinging insects are directly applied to water, as follows:
- Lake outlets and gravelly rapids where black fly larvae develop;
- Stagnant natural (peat bog and swamp) bodies of water where mosquito larvae are found, or man-made ditches and ponds.
Authorization from the Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP) is required before a pesticide can be applied in an unconfined aquatic environment (e.g., a stream, river, lake, marsh or swamp).
The authorization process satisfies the MELCCFP that all required measures will be taken to minimize the environmental impact of the pesticide and that its use is necessary at the target locations.
The Application for a Ministerial Authorization for the Use of Pesticides guide (PDF 1.76 Mb) (in French only) will assist you in completing the form required to carry out an activity as part of a new project or the modification of an existing project.
Land application of pesticides
If your company uses land-based pesticides to control stinging insects, it must hold a Sub-class C9 or D9 “Application for control of stinging insects” permit.
If you personally apply insecticides, you must hold a Sub-class CD9 “Application for control of stinging insects” certificate or perform the work under the supervision of an on-site holder of this type of certificate.
Aerial application of pesticides
If your company sprays pesticides to control stinging insects from an airplane (for example, a helicopter or drone), it must hold a Subclass C1 or D1 “Aerial application” permit.
If you personally spray pesticides from an airplane, you must hold a Sub-class CD1 “Aerial application” certificateor perform the work under the supervision of an on-site holder of this type of certificate.
The notice Application of pesticides using drones to control stinging insects (PDF 177 Kb) describes the particularities of this aerial application method.
Environmental impact assessment and review procedure
When the area of application exceeds 600 hectares, airplane spraying is subject to the environmental impact assessment and review procedure that includes an impact study and, potentially, public hearings.
Rules governing the application of pesticides
Even if your company holds a permit for the control of stinging insects, the application of pesticides to control adult black flies and mosquitoes is prohibited unless specifically carried out as a complement to larvicide application (PDF 6.86 Mb) (French only).
If you spray pesticides from an airplane, the following is required:
- Mark the boundaries of application areas or use air corridor guidance prior to pesticide application;
- The pilot or application supervisor must have a map or aerial photograph at hand that identifies the permitted and prohibited application zones extending 300 metres around the spraying area;
- Publish a message describing the work to be carried out in a newspaper circulated in the territory where the work will be carried out or broadcast the message on a radio or television station in that territory from one to three weeks prior to the start of spraying in a transportation corridor or over an area greater than 100 hectares in a single administrative region in a single year;
- Comply with the distancing parameters for sensitive areas (PDF 347 Kb).
Read the application of Commercial Pesticides webpage for information about the general rules governing the preparation and application of pesticides and the Pesticides Management Code – Reference Manual (PDF 6.86 Mb) (French only).
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 .
Last update: October 30, 2023