Pesticide use rules vary in the Langleys

The spring weather has people’s thoughts turning to the outdoors and often their yards.

Langley City reminds residents that the use of cosmetic pesticides on residential property and city-owned land, including parks and playing fields, is not permitted under City Pesticide Bylaw 2879.

“Increasing evidence links pesticide exposure to serious health and environmental problems,” said Acting Mayor Ted Schaffer. “The bylaw is intended to protect residents and the environment from the potentially harmful effects of toxic chemicals found in conventional pesticides.”

A comprehensive review of pesticide research conducted by the Ontario College of Family Physicians indicated that people who are exposed to pesticides are at a greater risk for cancer, reproductive problems and neurological diseases. The study also showed children are particularly vulnerable to pesticides.

Also at risk from pesticides are family pets and many wildlife species, including fish, frogs, earthworms and pollinators, such as bees, which are vital to the world’s food supply.

Pesticides prohibited under the City bylaw include insecticides, herbicides (including those found in lawn fertilizers) and fungicides.

Acceptable alternatives include:

• Acetic acid (household vinegar)

• Corn gluten meal

• Insecticidal (fatty acid) soaps

• Mineral or plant-based dormant oil

• Sulphur (Bordeaux mixture, lime sulphur)

• Diatomaceous earth

• Nematodes and other biological control organisms

• Borax (ferric phosphate)

• Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)

• Pheromones traps

• Non-toxic sticky media traps

Under the City pesticide bylaw, conventional pesticides may be applied by a provincially certified pesticide applicator in the case of an infestation that poses an immediate risk of damage to property or significant financial loss. The bylaw does not apply to agricultural lands, industrial lands, commercial properties and golf courses.

For a complete list of acceptable non-toxic, environmentally friendly products; helpful environment friendly gardening tips; and information on pesticide disposal, please visit the “Pesticide Use” tab under the “Residents” heading at city.langley.bc.ca.

Langley Township

The Township doesn’t have a pesticide ban but does have programs and campaigns to encourage residents to find other less toxic options to cosmetic pesticides. It has the Grow Healthy, Grow Smart program and complete details are at tol.bc.ca.

In partnership with the Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS), the Township has seminars to teach people about alternatives.

On March 29 the Township’s Grow Healthy, Grow Smart program has the Pollinator Power workshop. People can drop by Cedar Rim Nursery, 7024 Glover Rd., from 10:30-11:30 a.m. to learn about pollination around the year.

Beneficial insects are impacted by commercial pesticides.

On May 31, the Backyard Bounty workshop, also at Cedar Rim, teaches about gardening. It runs 10-11 a.m.

Register in advance for these events at outreach@leps.bc.ca or 604-546-0338.

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