The City of Edmonton manages pests such as weeds, tree pests, plant diseases, stinging/biting insects, rodents, and water-borne diseases using a variety of programs.
Improving soil quality and manual weed control (hand pulling and digging) are the first choice in managing weeds. Herbicides are used when these other methods are not reliable or feasible enough to meet provincial requirements and parkland standards.
Mosquito control focuses on monitoring and treating mosquitoes in the larval stage in standing water bodies.
Techniques and Standards
Evaluations of new systems, techniques, products, and biological controls help to steer the continual improvement of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs and reduce conventional pesticide use. In situations where pesticide use is deemed necessary, treatments are applied by certified pesticide applicators who follow federal and provincial legislation. Beyond these legislations, the pesticide applicators also follow best the practices outlined in the City’s IPM policy. Only products approved by Health Canada are used.
The City’s IPM approach has led to major reductions in pesticide use and the majority of Edmonton’s parkland is free of pesticide exposure. Of that parkland, less than 10% of the managed turf area receives herbicide treatments per year. Since 2004, 45 parkland sites have been maintained without the use of herbicides. These herbicide-free sites were designated by City council in association with the development of the IPM policy.
In addition to these efforts, the City offers programs where citizens can apply for increased restrictions on pesticide use and find detailed information on current spraying activities:
Pesticide Exemption Program - Citizens who want to restrict application of pesticides on City of Edmonton property that is within 30 metres of their residence can request this by filling out an online form. You will be required to enter an email address. Once this form is received, you will be sent a confirmation email indicating your exemption has become active. City employees and contractors will not apply pesticides within 30 metres of your residence unless there is a ‘pertinent need’ to do so.
Tips to reduce pesticide use in the backyard can be found on the City’s Good Growing Neighbours web page.