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Pesticide drift ... Now what?

By Danielle Neisz, Provincial Pesticide Investigator

Think that your property may have been indirectly sprayed with a pesticide and are unsure of what to do now? Here is a guide for dealing with a drift incident.

If you think that your property has accidentally been sprayed or drifted on, there are few things to keep in mind.

If you were present when the spray drift occurred, take notes of the event. Your notes should include the date and time of the occurrence as well as the weather conditions (specifically the temperature and wind speed and direction). It is also important to note if the pesticide was being applied by air or ground, along with any identifying information about the equipment being used, such as a tail number, colour of the plane and type of sprayer. However, it is important to note that if someone is spraying pesticides and you can smell the product, it does not always mean that you have been sprayed. I like to compare this to filling a vehicle up with gasoline; you can usually smell the gasoline, but that does not necessarily mean you have gasoline on you. Take pictures and videos if it is possible and safe do so, as they can be used in the investigation.

If you were not present during the incident, your notes should include any information that you are sure of as well as a rough estimate of when the incident may have occurred and the weather conditions at that time. The more information that you are able to provide, the better.

Make note of any suspected damage to your property; it is helpful to take pictures of the damage when you first identified it and again a few days later. Please ensure that you note the timeframe of the pictures in relation to the suspected incident. Also make sure that the pictures are taken of the same plant.

It is important to note who is in care and control of the land; this could be the land owner or the renter if it is rented land. Make note of any communications that you have had with the land owner or renter. If you know who was applying the pesticide, note if they are a commercial applicator or if they were spraying their own land.

If the applicator was spraying land that they own or rent, the incident would fall under the jurisdiction of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, a division of Health Canada. You can report an incident online by filling out an incident report form or by contacting the Pest Management Information Service at:

Pest Management Information Service
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
Health Canada
2720 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9
E-mail: pmra.infoserv@hc-sc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-736-3799
Toll-free: 1-800-267-6315
Facsimile: 613-736-3798
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)

If the applicator is a commercial applicator, the incident would fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture, Provincial Pesticide Investigator. You can report an incident by contacting the Provincial Pesticide Investigator and requesting an incident report form. You can contact the Provincial Pesticide Investigator at:

Danielle Neisz
Government of Saskatchewan
Provincial Pesticide Investigator
Crops and Irrigation Branch, Ministry of Agriculture
125 3085 Albert Street
Regina, SK S4S 0B1

E-mail: danielle.neisz2@gov.sk.ca
Business: 306-787-8711
Cellular: 306-527-1509
Facsimile: 306-787-0428

If you are unsure of any information, including who is doing the spraying contact the Provincial Pesticide Investigator, provide us with the information you have, and we will do our best to assist you.

Once your report has been received, your will be contacted and an investigation will commence.

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