OUR POSITION ON PESTICIDES The management of this web site believes that any opinions about the use of pesticides should be based on factual scientific evidence. We are not scientists so we will strive to provide some basic information gathered from reliable sources and provide links to sources that have information of interest to average consumers.
Pest Management Professionals and Pesticides: Many problems with pesticides are caused by uninformed consumers who refuse to read labels and follow precautions. For this reason we suggest throughout this web site that trained and licensed pest management professionals should be consulted. Most of them will try to find Integrated Pest Management solutions that do not necessarily require the use of pesticides. If you use pesticides be sure to read and follow the label directions, It’s the law.
We welcome your feedback. Webmanager@PestControlCanada.com
Types of Pesticides
A pesticide is any chemical which is used by man to control pests. The pests may be insects, plant diseases, fungi, weeds, nematodes, snails, slugs, etc. Therefore, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc., are all types of pesticides. Some pesticides must only contact (touch) the pest to be deadly. Others must be swallowed to be effective. The way that each pesticide attacks a pest suggests the best way to apply it; to reach and expose all the pests. For example, a pesticide may be more effective and less costly as a bait, rather than as a surface spray.
Insecticides are chemicals used to control insects. Often the word “insecticide” is confused with the word “pesticide.” It is, however, just one of many types of pesticides. An insecticide may kill the insect by touching it or it may have to be swallowed to be effective. Some insecticides kill both by touch and by swallowing. Insecticides called Systemics may be absorbed, injected, or fed into the plant or animal to be protected. When the insect feeds on this plant or animal, it ingests the systemic chemical and is killed.
Broad Spectrum. Insecticides vary in the numbers of different kinds of insects they kill. Some insecticides kill only a few kinds of insects. Sometimes you can choose these insecticides when you wish to kill only one insect pest and not other beneficial insects in the area. Many insecticides are general purpose or wide range killers. These “broad spectrum” pesticides are used when several different kinds of insects are a problem. One chemical can kill them all. No broad spectrum insecticide kills all insects; each varies as to the kinds of insects it controls.
Narrow Spectrum. While many insecticides are broad spectrum, killing a wide variety of animals by attacking a system common to all, such as the nervous system, a new group of insecticides are much more selective. The chitin inhibitors only affect animals with chitin in their exoskeleton (i.e. insects). Growth regulators are even more specific. They affect certain groups of species that have a particular hormone. Finally, pheromones are the most restrictive because they react with only one species or one sex of a single species.
Chitin synthesis inhibitors interfere with the development and molting of immature insects causing their death. Chitin is the primary structural chemical in an insects body wall. An immature insect treated with a chitin inhibitor dies the next time it attempts to molt.
Insect growth regulators or IGRs mimic the action of an insect’s naturally occurring juvenile hormone. They interfere with certain normal processes and prevent immature insects from completing development into normal reproductive adults. The effects of IGRs on insects include abnormal molting, twisted wings, loss of mating behavior, and sometimes death to embryos in eggs. IGRs attack a growth process found only in insects, thus there is a great margin of safety for humans and other vertebrates. However, one disadvantage is that growth regulators act slowly, since they do not kill the insect until it molts into an adult.
Pheromones are naturally produced chemicals used by animals to communicate to each other. There are three basic types of pheromones. Aggregation pheromones attract many individuals together, for example, a site where food may be plentiful. Sex pheromones are used by one sex of a species to attract a mate. Trail pheromones are deposited by walking insects, such as ants, so that others can follow. Synthetic pheromones produced in laboratories mimic these natural chemicals. They are used to attract pest insects into traps, disrupt mating, and monitor populations of insects. Because they do not kill insects, they are often not considered to be pesticides.
Short Term vs. Residual. Insecticides also vary in how long they last as a killing agent. Some break down almost immediately into nontoxic by -products. These “short term” chemicals are very good in situations where the insects do not return or where long-term exposure could injure non-target plants or animals. For example, short-term insecticides are often used in homes and dwellings where people and domestic animals might be exposed. Other insecticides remain active killers for a fairly long period of time. These “residual” pesticides are very useful when the insects are a constant problem and where they will not be an environmental and/or health hazard. For example, residuals are often used for fly control in livestock buildings or for termite control in wooden structures.
Miticides and Acaricides
Miticides (or Acaricides) are chemicals used to control mites (tiny Insecticides spider-like animals) and ticks. The chemicals usually must contact the mites or ticks to be effective. These animals are so numerous and small, that great care must be used to completely cover the area on which the mites live. Miticides are very similar in action to insecticides and often the same pesticide kills both insects and mites. The terms “broad spectrum,” “short term,” and “residual” are also used.
Fungicides are chemicals used to control the fungi which cause molds, rots, and plant diseases. All fungicides work by coming in contact with the fungus, because fungi do not “swallow” in the normal sense. Therefore, most fungicides are applied over a large surface area to try to directly hit every fungus. Some fungicides may be systemic in that the plant to be protected may be fed or injected with the chemical. The chemical then moves throughout the plant, killing the fungi. to describe miticides.
Protectant vs. Eradicant. There are two basic approaches in the use of fungicides. One is designed to prevent the plant from getting the disease. These fungicides are used as “protectants” and are similar in purpose to polio and smallpox vaccinations for humans. They are applied before the disease gets a start. This type of fungicide is very useful when a particular disease or group of diseases are likely to attack a plant or crop, year after year. Protectants, for example, have often been used as a routine precaution on fruit and vegetable crops.
Most protectant fungicides are fungistatic. This means they prevent or inhibit fungal growth. Once the fungistatic action ceases, the controlled fungus may grow again or produce spores. Thus, a protectant fungicide may have to be applied at regular intervals to continue the protection from infection.
The other type of fungicide kills the disease after it appears on (or in) the plant. These fungicides, called “eradicants,” are like penicillin or other antibiotics which cure diseases in humans after the sickness appears. Eradicants are less common than protectants because once the fungus is established in a plant, it is often difficult to destroy. Eradicants are often used when protectants aren’t available, aren’t applied in time, or are too expensive. Eradicants are also applied when the disease appears unexpectedly on a plant or in an area. For example, a common use is on fruit and vegetables when the protectant spray wasn’t applied on time to prevent infection. Eradicants are also used by orchardists in combating diseases of fruit trees, such as apple scab.
Herbicides are chemicals used to control unwanted plants. These chemicals are a bit different from other pesticides because they are used to kill or slow the growth of some plants, rather than to protect them. Some herbicides kill every plant they contact, while others kill only certain plants.
Nonselective herbicides are toxic to all plants. These are often used when no plants are wanted in an area. For example, nonselective herbicides could be used for clearing under guardrails or for total control of weeds in industrial areas.
Selective herbicides kill some plants with little or no injury to other plants. Usually selective types will kill either broadleaved plants or grassy plants. These are useful for lawns, golf courses or in areas with desirable trees. Some very selective herbicides may kill only certain plants in a group; for example, crabgrass killers on lawns.
Rodenticides are chemicals used to control rats, mice, bats and other rodents. Chemicals which control other mammals, birds, and fish are also grouped in this category by regulatory agencies. Most rodenticides are stomach poisons and are often applied as baits. Even rodenticides which act by contacting the pest are usually not applied over large surfaces because of the hazard to domestic animals or desirable wildlife. They are usually applied in limited areas such as runways, known feeding places, or as baits.
Nematicides Molluscicides Repellents
Nematicides are chemicals used to control nematodes. Nematodes are tiny hair-like worms, many of which live in the soil and feed on plant roots. Very few of these worms live above ground. Usually, soil fumigants are used to control nematodes in the soil. (See section on fumigants in Module XV.) However, a few contact insecticides and fungicides are also effective against these tiny worms.
Molluscicides are chemicals used to control snails and slugs. Usually the chemicals must be eaten by the pest to work. Baits are often used to attract and kill snails or slugs in an area.
A repellent is a pesticide that makes a site or food unattractive to a target pest. They are registered in the same way other pesticides are and must be used according to the label. Insect repellents are available as aerosols and lotions and can be applied to skin, clothing, or plants to repel biting and nuisance insects. Vertebrate repellents are available as concentrates to be mixed with water, powders, and granules. They can be sprayed or painted on nursery crops, ornamental plantings, orchards, vineyards, vegetables, and seeds. Repelling deer, dogs, birds, raccoons, and others can protect sites from damage.
Importance of Pesticides
Plants are directly and indirectly mankind’s main source of food. They are attacked by tens of thousands of diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other organisms. There are over thirty thousand kinds of weeds competing with crops worldwide; thousands of nematode species reduce crop vigour; and some ten thousand species of insects devour crops. It is estimated that one third of the world’s food crop is destroyed by these pests annually.
Pesticides have also played an important role in improving world health. Canadians may not realize the role that pesticides (DDT in particular) have played in preventing disease, but developing nations have certainly benefited. Millions would not be alive today were it not for DDT used to control malaria-bearing mosquitoes, and tens of millions enjoy good health rather than suffer from malarial parasites. Even in Manitoba, pesticides are used to control the incidence of western equine encephalitis by reducing mosquito populations thus preventing the transmission of the disease.
Health Canada Issues Warning About Risks of Buying Pesticides Online
OTTAWA – Health Canada is advising Canadians about the potential dangers of buying pesticides over the internet. In recent years, an increasing number of homeowners and gardeners have been looking for alternative pesticides for use in their homes and gardens. As a result, there are many websites selling pest control products, many of which are not approved for sale in Canada.
Consumers should be aware that there is no assurance that product claims made on the internet are reliable. Health Canada urges consumers wishing to purchase pest control products online to consult the Pesticide Product Information Database, which contains a list of registered pesticide products and active ingredients that are authorized for sale in Canada.
Unregistered pesticides often do not contain the necessary precautions or instructions in either of Canada’s official languages, which, in addition to not meeting Health Canada’s labeling requirement, could lead to accidental misuse or injury. For guidelines on the safe and effective use of pesticides, please consult Health Canada’s Fact Sheet on Homeowner Guidelines for Using Pesticides.
*PMRA | NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides… North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the governments of Mexico, Canada and the United States formed the Technical Working Group on Pesticides (TWG) in … http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pmra-arla/english/intern/twg-e.html –
* WWF Canada – Pesticide-free Gardening – Managing insect pests World Wildlife Fund Canada’s. Green Thumb Tips for Pesticide-free Gardening. It’s easy to manage insect pests naturally. Mother Nature … http://www.wwf.ca/NewsAndFacts/NewsRoom/Features.asp?page=401002
The complete label information for all registered pest control products in Canada is now easily accessible on the Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s (PMRA) website. The labels on registered products contain important information on the legal uses of the product and vital safety information for users. To access this label information for any registered product, use the search engine. Canadian Registered Pesticide label search
Health Canada Information Notice
Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has completed the re-evaluation of the insecticide, propoxur. As a result of the re-evaluation, a number of consumer products containing propoxur will be phased out of the Canadian marketplace.
The following consumer insecticide products should no longer be available for sale:
Propoxur Liquid Concentrate Insecticide
K-G Ant & Roach Killer
K-G Crawling Insect Killer IIB
K-G Hornet & Wasp Killer
K-G Hornet & Wasp Killer IIB
Hornet & Wasp Killer IIB
Crawling Insect Killer IIB
K-G Hornet & Wasp Killer IIIB
K-G Insecticide IV
Spray Pak Wasp & Hornet Killer II
Bugwacker Wasp & Hornet Killer
A-Z PRO XTERMINATOR
The following consumer insecticide products cannot be sold by retailers after October 31, 2016.
PRO PROX-120 ULV Insecticide Concentrate
Wilson Mosquito Fogging Insecticide
Bugcon Roach & Ant Killer With Baygon
Bugcon Dual Action
Bugcon Total Exterminator
Poulin’s Super Strength Residual Insecticide
Mega Total Exterminator Insecticide Solutions
Home Gardener Wasp & Hornet Killer
Home Gardener Crawling Insect Killer
Combat Plus Residual Insecticide Solution
Atouprix Total Extermination
Lloyds Hornet & Wasp Blaster
Super Hunter of Mosquitoes & Blackflies
Bedessee’s Roach And Ant Killer
Bugcon ZEP Wasp & Hornet Killer
Mega Wasp & Hornet Killer – Flea & Tick Killer Crawling Insect Killer
Spike Hornet And Wasp Killer
Spike Crawling Insect Killer
Black Flag Fog Insecticide
The following consumer pet collar products containing propoxur cannot be sold by retailers after October 31, 2016.
Hagen Flea Collar For Cats & Kittens with Integral Buckle
Hagen Flea Collar For Cats and Kittens with Integral Buckle
Hagen Flea Collar For Dogs & Puppies with Integral Buckle
Hagen Flea Collar For Medium Dogs with Integral Buckle
Hagen Flea Collar For Puppies & Small Dogs with Integral Buckle
Hagen Flea Collar For Large Dogs with Integral Buckle
Sergeant’s Flea Collar For Cats and Kittens with Integral Buckle
Sergeant’s Flea Collar For Small Dogs and Puppies with Integral Buckle
Sergeant’s Flea Collar For Medium Dogs with Integral Buckle
Sergeant’s Flea Collar For Large Dogs with Integral Buckle
VET-KEM Breakaway Flea & Tick Collar for Cats
VET-KEM Integral Buckle Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs
VET KEM® Ovitrol® Dual Action Collar for Cats & Kittens
VET KEM® Ovitrol® Dual Action Collar for Dogs & Puppies
Zodiac Breakaway Flea & Tick Collar for Cats
Zodiac Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs with Integral Buckle
Zodiac Powerband Plus Dual Action Flea and Tick Collar for Cats & Kittens
Zodiac Powerband Plus Dual Action Flea and Tick Collar for Dog & Puppies