Donald Bourgeois, Health Canada’s Atlantic regional pesticide compliance manager, says the popularity of such products, which often claim chemical-free or renewable-formulations, is growing. “There are many repellents in the marketplace. Before using them, you should always make sure that they have been registered with Health Canada,” Bourgeois says. “People may think that a homemade product is natural and chemical-free and therefore safer.” However, all pesticides contain chemicals, and only registered products are tested for safety, he adds.
Unregulated repellents are often sold at farmers’ markets or online through social media. Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency only registers products after a scientific review and in keeping with the Pest Control Products Act.