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Weed Control

The Selkirk Weed Control District is responsible for weed control on municipal property in the district and for enforcing The Noxious Weeds Act on all other properties in the municipality.  Multiple weed control methods are considered, and sometimes herbicide application (spraying) is the best option.
Their office is located in Selkirk and they can be reached at (204) 785-3638 or by email at

Frequently Asked Questions
1.  Why are we controlling weeds or other vegetation by spraying in the municipality?
  • The Noxious Weeds Act of Manitoba requires by law that municipalities inspect, monitor and control (or destroy) noxious weeds within their borders.  All landowners are responsible for Noxious Weeds on their property.  The SWCD is responsible for weed control on municipal property in the District and enforcing the NWA on all other property in the District.  Multiple weed control methods are considered, and sometimes herbicide application (spraying) is the best option.
  • Noxious weeds can pose a threat to the economy (eg. Agriculture), the environment (eg. invasive species) and human or animal health (eg. poisonous weeds).  Often weeds and their seeds are spread by mowing and moving crops, hay and soiled equipment (ATVs), places like roadsides are sprayed with an appropriate herbicide to combat the spread of noxious weeds.
  • Other vegetation controlled by spraying be be bulrushes or brush to help clear drainage ditches and create safe road visibility, or vegetation growing at the landfills or public works yards that pose a fire hazard but are not accessible for mowing.  Public paths or sidewalks may be sprayed to keep them clear and maintained for use.
2.   What herbicides are being used by SWCD?
  • A public notice is published in local newspapers and on the R.M. website every spring listing the herbicides that MAY be used in the SWCD (see attached).
  • Typically, less than 8 different herbicides are used by SWCD on all the municipal property in the Weed District.  One or two appropriate herbicides may be used in a single area over an entire summer.
  • A post-season report is filed with Manitoba Conservation's Pesticide Section detailing the use of all herbicides or other pesticides in the SWCD.
3.   Where and when are herbicides being applied by SWCD?
  • Generally, between May 1 and September 30, as stated on the Pesticide Use Permit and Public Notice.  Application dates vary depending on what is being controlled and the weather conditions.
  • Locations of spraying include municipal property such as roadsides and ditches, dumps and landfills, parks and public paths and public works yards.
  • When herbicides are being applied in public active-use areas (like parks or trails), the area may be temporarily closed (if required) and information signs are posted about what is being sprayed and when it is safe to enter the area again.
4.   Who is applying herbicides for SWCD?
  • All SWCD applicators are professionals who are trained by the SWCD, licensed by the province, and insured by the R.M.  To get a Manitoba Pesticide Applicator License as a Rural Municipal Pesticide Applicator, an individual must pass two exams every five years.  The SWCD Weed Supervisor ensures that staff are re-oriented annually on current policies and procedures.
5.  Are the herbicides the SWCD uses safe?
  • All herbicides used by the SWCD must be listed on a Pesticide Use Permit issued by Manitoba Conservation and approved for use in Canada by the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA, a department of Health Canada).
  • All Herbicides must be used only according to the Health Canada approved Pesticide Label and Manitoba Pesticide Regulations.
  • Applicators are careful to apply herbicides only where they are required, and in conditions that prevent herbicide sprays from moving off-site.  We do not spray in high winds, or in rainy or wet conditions.
  • The SWCD Weed Supervisor looks for the safest herbicide options for controlling weeds and vegetation to protect the Applicators, Public and the environment.
  • Both PMRA and Manitoba Conservation Environment Officers can and have done random inspections of our operations to ensure SWCD is following pesticide use laws and guidelines.
  • Herbicides work by interrupting or modifying a biological process within the target plant, leading to the plant being controlled.  These plant-based biological processes do not exist in insects and animals, so when used according to the label, herbicides only affect the plants they are designed to control.
6.   Can I ask for a buffer/no-spray zone around my property?
  • Yes, please contact Manitoba Conservation Pesticide Section or the SWCD Weed Supervisor.
  • You can only request a buffer zone adjacent to property you own, occupy/rent, or are legal agent to.
  • Please continue to request a buffer zone annually to ensure records are kept up to date.
7.  What is the Non-Essential Pesticide Regulation/Cosmetic Pesticide Ban?
  • This Manitoba regulation prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides on lawns and sidewalks or paths adjacent to lawns.  This includes parks and sports fields.
  • Areas that are NOT associated with lawns are exempt from the regulation; these include gardens, parking lots, sidewalks not adjacent to lawns, ditches, roadsides and boulevards.
  • Enforcing The Noxious Weeds Act supersedes the Non-Essential Pesticide Regulations where weeds are considered more than a nuisance or cosmetic issue (eg. Poisonous plants and Tier 1 or 2 noxious weeds requiring complete destruction).
  • List of pesticides allowed on lawns, sidewalks or paths (see attached list).
8.   Are dandelions Noxious Weeds?  What can be done about them?
  • Dandelions are a Tier 3 noxious weed under the Manitoba Noxious Weeds Act.  This mean property owners are only required to control them if they may cause harm to people, the economy (ie. farms) and the environment.
  • Since their presence in residential and urban settings is typically a cosmetic issue, SWCD would not issue a weed notice to property owners with dandelions.
  • Controlling dandelions is also considered cosmetic or non-essential, therefore the Non-Essential Pesticide Regulations apply.