Definition of a pest:
“any injurious, noxious or troublesome insect, fungus, bacterial organism, virus, weed, rodent or other plant or animal pest, and includes any injurious, noxious or troublesome organic function of a plant or animal.” (Federal Pest Control Products Act.)
The City of Leduc has an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan. IPM is a decision-making model which outlines the steps to prevent and manage pest problems. Management options include a combination of preventative/cultural, mechanical and chemical controls. IPM uses a variety of short-term and long-term strategies to manage pest problems. Strategies used to deal with pest problems are based on the following considerations:
- Human health and safety
- Least disruptive of natural controls
- Minimize negative impacts to non-target organisms
- Least damaging to the general environment
- Best preserve the natural or management ecosystem
- Most likely produce long-term reductions in pest control requirements
- Operationally feasible and effective
- Cost-effective in the short and long term
The city approaches pest management in the following ways:
- Pesticides are used only as required and the city does not blanket spray. Whenever possible, non-chemical treatment options are used.
- Only about 4% of the land area in Leduc is sprayed with pesticides.
- There is a 30m no-spray buffer around playgrounds and daycares.
- Pre-notification signs are posted at least 24 hours prior to herbicide application and are left up for a minimum of 48 hours after spraying takes place.
- Spraying is localized to areas like sports fields and railroad lines.
- Sports fields and city facilities are treated for dandelions using species-specific and targeted spray techniques.
- The city sprays for noxious weeds as per the guidelines of the Alberta Weed Act. Spot spraying is done for these weeds which include tansy and thistle.
- The city does not operate a mosquito control program because of the potential environmental, health and economic impacts of a mass spraying program. However, there is active monitoring of mosquito population levels and types.
- All pesticides and pest control procedures comply with the health and safety standards set out by Health Canada and the Pest Control Products Act.
Responsible Pesticide Use
Pesticide use in Canada is heavily regulated. The Pest Control Products Act and Regulations requires all pest control products used in Canada be registered to ensure the safety of these products. Registration involves gaining approval through a consultative process with experts in organizations such as Environment Canada and Health Canada. The Food and Drug Act sets limits on the allowable maximum residue levels of agricultural pesticides in food. Finally, the Canadian Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the Fisheries Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act regulate and guide pesticide use to ensure the protection of the environment. Additionally, Alberta Environmental Protection regulates pesticide sales, handling and applications within the province.
- All pesticide applicators in the City of Leduc have passed a certification exam to obtain an Alberta Pesticide Applicator Certificate.
- All pesticides used by the city, including those used by private contractors, must have material safety data sheets submitted.
- All pesticides transported within the city must have transportation of dangerous good (TDG) documentation.
- Only staff with a current pesticides applicators certificate can purchase pesticides.
- All storage facilities holding pesticides have met Alberta storage regulations.
Citizens wishing to receive pre-notification of any pesticide spraying taking place within the City of Leduc have the option to join the Pesticide Spraying Notification Program and receive pre-spraying notification emails. Call Public Services at 780-980-7133.