Synthetic Pesticide Ban

The Mayor and Council on April 26, 2021 voted unanimously to allow Montgomery County’s pesticide law to apply in the city, effective Jan. 1, 2022. The law restricts the use of certain pesticides on private lawns, playgrounds, mulched recreation areas, and childcare facilities to protect people, pets, and the environment.

The pesticide law is intended to protect public health and welfare, minimize potential pesticide hazards to people and the environment, inform the public about pesticide applications, and minimize the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes while not restricting the ability to use pesticides in agriculture, for the protection of public health, or for other public benefit.

While city property is not covered by the Montgomery County Pesticide Law, the city has adopted a policy to reduce pesticide use on City-owned land (parks, right-of-ways, stream valleys and stormwater facilities). Read more at Pesticide Use in Rockville.

Private Property Owners and Lawn Care Providers

  • Most synthetic pesticides, such as weed and feed products, are not allowed for treating pests on private lawns, playgrounds, mulched recreation areas, and childcare facilities. View the list of what is allowed and what is not
  • Some exemptions apply to allow the use of pesticide application when used to: 
    • Eradicate biting/stinging insects, disease vectors, noxious/invasive species, species that threaten the health of trees/shrubs and indoor pests if applied near the foundation. 
    • Control a pest outbreak that poses an imminent threat to human health or to prevent significant economic damage if a banned pesticide is not used. 
    • Maintain property as part of efforts by a public utility to comply with applicable vegetation management provisions of any federal, state, or local law or regulation.
  • The law does not ban the sale by any stores, and some products may be used in other circumstances. For example, a product that is not allowed for controlling weeds in a lawn may still be used in a garden bed or sidewalk cracks. 
  • Only organic or minimum-risk pesticides are allowed for use on lawns, playgrounds, mulched recreation areas and child care facilities.

For a full explanation of exemptions and answers to common questions, visit Montgomery County's website.

leaf icon

Use Organic Lawn Care

Weeds and pests can be prevented by using organic lawn care.

Learn More

Climate Action Newsletter IconJoin our Newsletter

Sign up for our "Environment and Sustainability Newsletter" to receive seasonal tips on organic lawn care and native landscaping.