Sensitive place notification

Pest management technicians applying certain pesticides outside next door to a sensitive place such as a nursing home or school must notify the person responsible for that sensitive place 5 working days before applying the pesticide.

The EPA regulates pesticide notification under Part 5 of the Pesticides Regulation 2017.

Sensitive places

A sensitive place is any

  • school or pre-school
  • kindergarten
  • childcare centre
  • hospital
  • community health centre
  • nursing home

People attending these places may be more sensitive to pesticides than the general population.

Find out ways of identifying sensitive places

Pest treatments you must provide notice of

You must provide at least 5 working days’ advance notice to a neighbouring sensitive place when pesticides will be used outside within 20 metres of a common boundary.

This rule applies to

  • outdoor spraying of pesticides
  • outdoor injection of liquid pesticides into the ground

You do not have to give notice of

  • other sorts of pesticide use such as use of solid baits
  • indoor treatments on adjoining properties

Note that there is also no requirement to give notice in this instance if the sensitive place is a hospital.

If there is no sensitive place adjoining the premises, there are no mandatory notification requirements. However, it is good practice to give notice when sensitive people are located next door, such as at a hospital with areas used by patients near the pesticide treatment location.

What to do in an emergency?

Emergencies are infestations of biting or dangerous pests such as wasps, bees, venomous spiders, rodents and bird mites that may pose health or safety risks. You do not have to provide 5 working days' notice of pesticide treatments made in emergencies but must still provide notification before the job is undertaken.

Information you must provide

The notice should be a form including

  • the full name of the pesticide
  • the reason why the pesticide is being used (e.g. what pest is being treated)
  • the proposed date or, if you are unsure of the exact date, a range of dates between which the pesticide will be applied
  • where the pesticide will be used
  • any re-entry requirements that are on the pesticide label or permit
  • your contact details or the contact details of your office

You can send the form to the person in charge of the neighbouring sensitive place, for example the school principal, director or manager, in person, or by email, fax, letter box drop or post. This notice does not need to be personally addressed.

You do not need to verify that the notice has been received, but if using the postal system, allow extra time for delivery.

You must provide a copy of the relevant safety data sheet (SDS) as soon as practicable if the person in charge of the sensitive place requests it.

Case study

The owner of a restaurant next to a primary school phones a pest technician to arrange for a treatment to deal with cockroaches and other insect pests around the exterior waste collection area. In discussing the prospective job, the owner advises that there is a primary school on one side of the property but is uncertain of their contact details. The pest technician explains that there is a legal obligation to provide them with at least 5 days’ prior notice. Using Google maps and yellow pages, the pest technician establishes the name and contact details of the school and faxes through information about the upcoming pesticide treatment for the attention of the school principal.

The school principal notes that the proposed application area is remote from classrooms but is relatively close to the school's cricket practice nets. The principal passes this information on to teachers that may be using the nets on that date.

Record keeping

You must record details of the pesticide application within 24 hours of using it and keep a paper copy of this record for 3 years.

You must also note the specific circumstances of an emergency pesticide application in your records.

Find out more about record keeping

Fines and penalties

If you do not follow these requirements, on-the-spot penalty notice fines of $800 for corporations or $400 for individuals may apply. Court imposed fines of up to $44,000 may also apply for more serious offences.

Help and information

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