Household Use of Chemical Pesticides and Fertilizers

Access PDF (475 KB)

Chemical pesticide and fertilizer use by Canadian households has declined since 1994.

In 2013, 19% of Canadian households with a lawn or garden used chemical pesticides compared to 31% in 1994. The largest decrease has occurred in Quebec, where household chemical pesticide use fell from 30% to 9%. The Prairie Provinces, led by Saskatchewan, remain the region where household use of chemical pesticides was the most widespread.

Cosmetic pesticide bans in the majority of provinces have contributed to the drop in pesticide use between 1994 and 2013. In general, provinces with bans used below the national average in 2013 (e.g., Newfoundland and Labrador [16%], Ontario [16%], Nova Scotia [14%], New Brunswick [11%], Quebec [9%], and Prince Edward Island [7%]).

In 2013, 25% of Canadian households with a lawn or garden used chemical fertilizers, compared to 47% in 1994. The largest decreases occurred in Quebec and Ontario. Quebec households were the lowest users of chemical fertilizers in 2013. Households in the Prairie Provinces, led by Alberta, were most likely to have used chemical fertilizer.

A number of factors, such as weather, have an impact on the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Changes in those contributing factors may explain the yearly variation observed in the indicators.

Percentage of households in Canada with a lawn or garden using chemical pesticides and fertilizers, 1994, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013

Column charts

Long description

The column charts show the percentage of Canadian households with a lawn or garden using chemical pesticides, and fertilizers in 1994, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. Over this period, the percentage of households using chemical pesticides and fertilizers has decreased. Chemical pesticide use in 2013 was 19%, compared to 31% in 1994. In 2013, chemical fertilizer use was 25%, compared to 47% in 1994.

Data for this chart
Percentage of households in Canada with a lawn or garden using chemical pesticides and fertilizers, 1994, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013
YearChemical pesticides
(percentage of households with a lawn or garden)
Chemical fertilizers
(percentage of households with a lawn or garden)
19943147
20052932
20072527
20091522
20111521
20131925

Download data file (Excel/CSV; 1.33 KB)

How this indicator was calculated

Source: Statistics Canada (2015) Households and the environment survey, use of fertilizer and pesticides, Canada, provinces and census metropolitan areas: CANSIM Table 153-0064. Statistics Canada (2013) Households and the Environment 2011. Statistics Canada (2011) Households and the Environment 2009. Statistics Canada (2009) Households and the Environment 2007. Statistics Canada (2008) Households and the Environment 2006. Statistics Canada (1995) Households and the Environment 1994, Catalogue No. 11-526.

Pesticides are used by households to eliminate unwanted plants and insect pests to maintain a particular appearance of lawns and gardens. There are two general varieties of pesticide: natural pesticides, such as nematodes and ladybugs; and chemical pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, which are manufactured. Chemical pesticides can have negative effects on human and environmental health by contaminating air, water, soil and food sources. In addition to killing target insects, insecticides can kill other species beneficial to lawns and gardens. For example, insects are a source of food for many birds, but this food source can be contaminated or reduced by pesticides. Many municipalities and most provinces have, or are considering, laws restricting the use of pesticides in cities.

Fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and are added to lawns and gardens to make them greener and thicker. There are two general varieties of fertilizers: natural fertilizers like manure and compost; and chemical fertilizers, which are manufactured. If fertilizer is applied improperly, or in excess, these nutrients can run off into stormwater sewers and eventually reach lakes and rivers. When the amount of nutrients in a river or lake becomes too high, it can cause excessive growth of aquatic plants and algae.

Percentage of households with a lawn or garden using chemical pesticides and fertilizers by province, Canada, 1994 and 2013

Column charts

Long description

The column charts show the percentage of households with a lawn or garden in each Canadian province using chemical pesticides and fertilizers for 1994 and 2013. Chemical pesticide use was higher in four provinces (Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrabor) in 2013 compared to 1994. Manitoba was the only province to have an increase in chemical fertilizer use from 1994 to 2013.

Data for this chart
Percentage of households with a lawn or garden using chemical pesticides and fertilizers by province, Canada, 1994 and 2013
RegionChemical pesticide use 1994 
(percentage of households with a lawn or garden)
Chemical pesticide use 2013
(percentage of households with a lawn or garden)
Chemical fertilizer use 1994
(percentage of households with a lawn or garden)
Chemical fertilizer use 2013
(percentage of households with a lawn or garden)
Newfoundland and Labrador9162619
Prince Edward Island127Footnote [E]2313Footnote [E]
Nova Scotia19143517
New Brunswick20113617
Quebec3094111
Ontario34165123
Manitoba30373940
Saskatchewan37455745
Alberta36385847
British Columbia30204726

Download data file (Excel/CSV; 1.75 KB)

How this indicator was calculated

Source: Statistics Canada (2015) Households and the environment survey, use of fertilizer and pesticides, Canada, provinces and census metropolitan areas: CANSIM Table 153-0064. Statistics Canada (2013) Households and the Environment 2011. Statistics Canada (2011) Households and the Environment 2009. Statistics Canada (2009) Households and the Environment 2007. Statistics Canada (2008) Households and the Environment 2006. Statistics Canada (1995) Households and the Environment 1994, Catalogue No. 11-526.

Related indicators

Other information

Access PDF (475 KB)

Date modified: