FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswickers are reminded that the sale and use of more than 240 over-the-counter lawn care pesticide products, and the use of all 2,4-D products, on domestic lawns in the province has been banned by the Department of Environment.

"New Brunswick is the first province in Atlantic Canada, and the third in Canada, to adopt a comprehensive product ban on lawn care pesticides," said Environment Minister Rick Miles. "Reducing the reliance on pesticides in the province will contribute to a sustainable environment and a self-sufficient New Brunswick by 2026."

The product ban targets retail lawn care pesticide products that are most likely to be overused and misused. This includes combination fertilizer/pesticide products, granular spreadable weed killers, hose-end products, and lawn care pesticides that require measuring, mixing or dilution by the homeowner.

In particular, the herbicide 2,4-D, which is one of the most widely used lawn care pesticides, was banned because of its widespread use and its potential to be overused and misused. Since the maintenance of specialty turf is the business of golf courses, they will be able to use products containing 2,4-D, providing that the products are applied respecting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) provisions.

While pesticide treatment of public areas such as parks and sports fields, as well as school yards and hospital grounds, would still be possible, the new regulatory restrictions would apply. These changes will not affect the use of pesticides in agricultural or forestry operations.

In addition to the ban, IPM accreditation is now mandatory for those carrying out lawn care services involving commercial-class pesticides.

"This ban will contribute to an improved environment and quality of life for all residents of the province," said Miles. "I strongly encourage all New Brunswickers to adhere to the environmental laws in the province and find greener ways of managing their lawns."

Healthy lawns are less susceptible to pest problems. Some tips for a healthy lawn include:

  • feed your lawn compost and leave grass clippings;
  • aerate compacted soil;
  • over-seed thinned areas or use ground cover;
  • use paving stones for heavy traffic areas;
  • check the lawn regularly for problems;
  • mow high to promote growth (six to eight cm or 2.5 to three inches); and
  • water deeply (2.5 cm or one inch) and infrequently to promote deep roots.

More information on the pesticide ban is online.