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 as a last resort when these other methods are not reliable or feasible enough to meet legal requirements and parkland standards.
Mosquito control focuses on monitoring and treating mosquitoes in the larval stage in standing water bodies. When environmental conditions are suitable, a non-toxic biological control method is used. More information on the City’s mosquito program can be found on Edmonton's Mosquito control program webpage.
Techniques and Standards
Evaluations of new systems, techniques, products, and biological controls help to steer the continual improvement of IPM programs and reduce conventional pesticide use. In situations where pesticide use is absolutely 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 restricted pesticide use and find detailed information on current spraying activities:
Spray-line – Citizens can call 780-423-1378 directly or call 311 and ask for the Spray-line to get daily updated, detailed information on any current spraying activities on City lands (April – October).
Medical Alert Pesticide Program (MAPP) – Citizens with medical considerations are eligible for a 30 meter pesticide-buffer zone and/or pre-notification of pesticide applications within 100 metres. You can register for the MAPP Program by submitting the online MAPP Form or by submitting a hardcopy of the MAPP Form.
Herbicide Exemption Request Program (HERP) – No-spray buffers are available for citizens that live adjacent to land owned by the City of Edmonton. You can register for the HERP Program by submitting the online HERP Form or by submitting a hardcopy of the HERP Form.
Herbicide-free petition sites – Residents living adjacent to parkland can petition to designate that park site as herbicide-free if 66% of affected residents agree to the petition. If you are interested in the location of all herbicide-free petition sites in the City, please see our current list of sites. To inititate a petition please submit the online Initiator form or submit a hardcopy of the Initiator form. Once you have received confirmation of approval from the program coordinator for the proposed site you can print out a copy of the Herbicide Exemption Petition Form to collect the required signatures.
Tips to reduce pesticide use in the backyard can be found on the City’s Good Growing Neighbours web page. For seasonal information on the City's Pest Management Programs please see the current Weed and Other Pest Management Programs information sheet.