Saanich environmental planning officer Ann Klein looks over the pesticide bylaw updates during Monday’s open house at Cedar Hill Golf Course. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Saanich to approve iron-heavy dandelion killer as an allowable pesticide

Updated Saanich pesticide bylaw to permit 24, ban one from use

Saanich residents may be surprised to learn just how effective some of the pesticides are that the District of Saanich is permitting in an update to the existing pesticide bylaw.

The province has updated its integrated pest management act by adding a group of products that are usable without permit. Saanich is now following suit by adding those updates to its own pesticide bylaws. Until the bylaw is amended, the current batch of pesticides remain banned (without a permit).

(Inset file lists newly permitted pesticides.)

“We wanted to update our schedule to match their schedule,” said Adrian Pollard, manager of Saanich’s Environmental Services. “By keeping up with the province, Saanich residents can use the same products as residents in other municipalities.”

However, many of the products will continue to have restricted access at stores, meaning their purchase comes with a consultation from the store operators on usage.

Among the key additions is feHEDTA, an iron and acid concentrate that is highly effective for dandelion control.

“This is the product that, every spring, people phone us up asking, have you changed the bylaw yet? Can we use [feHEDTA],” Pollard said.

While two dozen legal options are being added, one option, Rotenone (a colourless, odorless, insecticide) will be removed and deemed illegal.

There are permitted alternatives that kill dandelions, including citric acids, but the concentrated acids can be cumbersome to apply and kill everything in the vicinity, and are considered less effective than feHEDTA.

While there are strict guidelines around pesticide use in Saanich, Pollard also warns residents to be aware that local stores are able to carry and sell non-permitted pesticides.

“Some of the products even say “safe by municipal bylaws,” but not all bylaws are the same, so be careful,” she said.

For more information visit saanich.ca.

reporter@saanichnews.com

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