Selecting and purchasing pesticides

Before choosing a pesticide, make sure it is the right one for the pest situation on your farm. There are often several different pesticides available to control a particular pest.

Selecting the best pesticide for a pest problem

Some things to consider when selecting pesticides are described below.

  • Know what you are trying to control. Accurately identify your pest, then match the pesticide with the pest.
  • Check a current Crop Production Guide for recommendations on managing the pest
  • Check the label to make sure the pesticide you have chosen is registered (i.e. legal) to use both on the pest and the crop. 
  • If you are an organic grower, make sure the pesticide is approved for use by your certifying organization.
  • Compare the costs of different products by comparing how much it will cost to treat a given area. Remember different rates or concentrations of formulations can affect your calculations.
  • Consider how effective the available products are. Be aware that some products are registered for control of a pest, while others are registered for suppression only.
  • If possible, select the least toxic pesticide. These will usually be safer for you to work with and less harmful to the environment and non-target organisms. Consider the types of sensitive areas (i.e. streams, schools, wetlands, etc) around your crops.
  • WorksafeBC requires a valid Pesticide Applicator Certificate for workers using moderately and highly toxic pesticides.
  • Pick products that help you minimize the development of pesticide resistance. Don't use products from the same resistance group over and over. 
  • Select registered products which don't harm the beneficial organisms in your crop.
  • Consider whether you can follow the label re-entry times and pre-harvest intervals.
  • Select a pesticide formulation that is easy and safe to use. More pesticides are available as solubags and dry flowables.
  • Choose a product that can be applied with your spray equipment.

Purchasing pesticides

  • Pesticides should only be purchased from a licensed vendor.
  • A valid Pesticide Applicator Certificate is required to purchase Restricted pesticides. 
  • Only purchase the amount you can use up in one year.

Home and garden pesticides

  • Home gardeners can only purchase pesticides that are registered under the Domestic category.  Domestic pesticides are limited to products that are safer to handle. Many are formulated as "ready to spray" products.
  • Be aware that some municipalities have bylaws restricting the non-agricultural use of pesticides