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Steer clear of homemade tick repellents, Health Canada warns

Health Canada is warning Canadians to be careful when purchasing tick repellents.
Health Canada is warning Canadians to be careful when purchasing tick repellents.

Health Canada is advising Canadians of the dangers of homemade tick repellents. 

Donald Bourgeois, Health Canada’s Atlantic regional pesticide compliance manager, said homemade products are becoming more popular.

Vendors are selling them at farmer’s markets, retail stores, on social media and through other means, he said.

“There are many repellents in the marketplace. Before using them, you should always make sure that they have been registered with Health Canada,” Bourgeois said via press release.

Many of the homemade products have not been tested for safety or approved for sale in Canada. Sometimes they don’t have labels.  

“People may think that a homemade product is natural and chemical-free and therefore safer,” Bourgeois said.

“All pesticides contain chemicals, even those that are called ‘natural’ or ‘organic’. The difference with registered products is that they have been tested and evaluated to ensure they are safe.”

All products registered with Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) undergo a scientific review. Registered pesticides are given a Pest Control Product (PCP) number.

Health Canada has regional inspectors located across Canada, including in all four Atlantic Provinces. They are tasked with ensuring the safe use of pesticide products in keeping with the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA). 

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