Restrictions on the use of insecticides

In Finland, the use of insecticides is restricted by national risk mitigation measures to protect bees and other pollinators. These restrictions apply to all authorization decisions and amendments for insecticides, ie product group 18 (insecticides, acaricides and products used to control other arthropods) issued after 1 January 2018. In addition, on 1 October 2020, Tukes decided on new measures and restrictions for the sustainable use of insecticides. The new restrictions must be implemented from 1 January 2022. 

“Dangerous to bees”- marking is required on all PT18 product labels, unless…

  • there is data showing that the LD50 of the active substance in the product is above 11 µg/bee*.

 Outdoor use is restricted to bait box only, when…

  • the product is to be marked as dangerous to bees and it contains a bee attractant e.g. sugar.
  • For professional use only, the above-mentioned formulations can be accepted without a bait box. In which case appropriate RMMs are required to prevent the product from getting wet and to prevent access of bees to the bait.

 “Use near flowering plants or bee hives is forbidden” restriction is required, when…

  • the product is to be marked as dangerous to bees and there is a risk that the product may be transported onto flowering plants or bee hives.


* US EPA: Technical Overview of Ecological Risk Assessment Analysis Phase: Ecological Effects Characterization.

  • acute moderately toxic LD50 2 – 11 µg/bee
  • acute highly toxic LD50 <2 µg/bee

From 1 January 2022 onwards

In addition to the measures to protect bees and other pollinators, stricter national restrictions on all PT18 products will enter into force from the beginning of 2022.  Products approved before 2022 are required to comply with the new restrictions from the beginning of 2022.

User groups

Products are divided into three categories in accordance with their users:

  1. Consumers
  2. Professionals - Persons who use insecticides in their work as part of their job description and have received training regarding the use of the products, including the use of insecticides as part of industrial processes or insect control carried out aboard an aircraft by an airline crew. Persons whose job description does not include the use of insecticides are regarded as consumers.
  3. Trained professionals - Persons who have completed a pest qualification in accordance with the Chemicals Act (Chemicals Act 599/2013, Government Decree 418/2014). Alternatively, individuals who have acquired a crop protection certification and who control insects in their own agricultural activities (act amending the Chemicals Act 746/2016, act on crop protection products 1563/2011).

More detailed descriptions of products are available at the end of the page below.

If a product is intended for several user groups, but the amount of use, place of use, method of use or target organisms are different in each user group, then there must be separate labels for each user groups.

Products for cockroach and bed bug control

  • Products for trained professionals only if there is a risk of development of insecticide resistant insect populations
  • The “not for cockroach or bed bug control” restriction is required for consumer and professional products with general label claims

Cockroaches and bed bugs are difficult to control as a result of their life cycle and increasing resistance. The use of insecticides involves the risk of the development of insect populations resistant to insecticides, if insect control is not effective and the signs of resistance cannot be identified. Therefore, only products intended for cockroach and bed bug control, whose active substances have not been found to cause any resistance to insects, can be approved for use by consumers and professionals. In addition, it is required that the development of any resistance can be considered unlikely.

Products intended for cockroach and bed bug control, whose active substances involve the risk of a resistance, can only be approved for use by trained professionals.

If products have only general label claims, such as “for control of crawling insects”, then products intended for consumers and professionals must be marked with a sentence “not for cockroach or bed bug control”.

Products approved for use outdoors

  • Products with general label claims for trained professionals only
  • Consumer and professional products for control of harmful insects only

Insects play an important role in biodiversity and the functioning of the ecosystem. Only a small fraction of insects cause damage to buildings and structures or health hazards to people. Therefore, products intended for use outdoors and marked with general label claims, such as “for control of flying and crawling insects”, are not approved for use by consumers and professionals. These products can only be approved for use by trained professionals who has sufficient know-how to assess the need for insect control.

Furthermore, products intended for the control of beneficial arthropods or other species, the adverse impact of which on people, structures or buildings cannot be shown, are not approved for use outdoors.

Product descriptions

Products for consumers:

Products in this category are easy- and ready-to-use products, the dosage or application of which does not require the use of any special equipment. Product-specific risk mitigation methods are simple and easy to carry out by anyone without any special preparations. The safe use of products does not require the user or the environment to be protected by means of personal protective equipment or plastic coverings, for example. Products can be dosed several times, without any longer waiting times between times of application.

Products for professionals:

The skills required for the use of products in this category are usually acquired through on-the-job training. Products are used as part of a regularly repeated process, such as in the industrial treatment of textiles or yarn.

In addition, this category includes products that are not ready for use before diluting, for example. The risk mitigation methods of products are simple and easy to carry out, while the use of products may require safety gloves or goggles. Products can be dosed without any special equipment.

Products for trained professionals:

The safe use of products in this category often requires the use of personal protective equipment, as well as detailed and demanding protective measures. Risk mitigation methods require skills acquired through training and experience. Products cannot be dosed without any special equipment.