Help: How to use the Garden search

This page provides help and examples of how to search for plant protection products (PPP), also known as pesticides, you can use in your garden.

This search will only give results for PPPs which can be used in a garden/ allotment or on houseplants. For a full range of products including those for agricultural uses you must use the Pesticides Register database.

The Garden Search Screen

Garden Products Search Screen

What the Search terms mean


Where you wish to apply the PPP. Click on the picklist to see possible entries. Examples of the searches you can perform are given in the section Some Common Queries below.

Product name

The trade name as given on the product container. Click on the picklist to see possible entries.

MAPP number

The product registration number which shows the product has been authorised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). In the past these were given as 'MAFF' numbers.

Marketing Company

The company that markets the product. It may also be the name of the shop that sells the product. Click on the picklist to see possible entries.

Active ingredient

Sometimes called 'active substance' or 'active', this is the chemical that makes the PPP work. Click on the picklist to see possible entries.

Field of Use/Action

How the PPP works. Click on the drop-down arrow to see possible entries. These include 'insecticide' (a PPP used to control unwanted insects), 'fungicide' (a PPP used to control unwanted fungal diseases in plants) or 'herbicide' (controls unwanted vegetation), a weed killer.

Results per page

This gives the number of results which will be listed on each page when you select 'Get Results'.


If you make a mistake this will clear the screen so you can start again.

Get Results

Once you have filled in at least one box, this will give you a list of all plant protection products that match.


This will retrieve this Help page.

A Basic Search

Fill in one box on the search screen using the 'Picklist' which lists possible entries:

  • Click on the Picklist and use the scroll arrow to move up and down the list;
  • When the one you want is highlighted simply click and select;
  • Click on 'Get Results'.

Some Common Queries

Which PPPs can I use on a particular plant or area in my garden?

Click on the Plant/Area picklist and then:

  • Use the scroll arrow to move up and down the list.
  • Click to select the entry that describes the plant/area which has the pest/disease.
  • The entry should now be highlighted in blue.
  • Click on 'Select' and then 'Get Results'.

In order to get a complete list of all possible PPPs you may use you may need to do more than one search. For example:

  • for use on cabbage (a plant you can eat) you should search using the plant group 'All edible crops' and search again selecting 'Cabbage'.
  • for roses (a plant you can't eat) you should search using each of the following plant groups; 'All non edible crops', 'ornamental garden plants' and 'ornamental plant production'.
  • for products which can be used on a garden path you should search using each of the following plant groups/areas; 'Areas not intended to bear vegetation', 'hard surfaces' and 'unwanted vegetation'.

A search using the term 'All situations' will give you a list of products for use as slug/snail killers, weed killers, animal repellents, insecticides and fungicides.

Can I still use the old PPP in my shed?

Look at the label on the pesticide container and:

  • Locate a number on the label with the letters 'MAFF' or 'MAPP' at the beginning.
  • Type in the numbers (only) in the 'MAPP No.' box. There should always be 5 digits, for example 07777, not just 7777.
  • Click on 'Get Results'

If there is only a number which begins with 'HSE' then information is currently held on the main HSE website

Which PPPs are available to control a particular pest/disease in my garden?

At HSE we cannot give advice on which PPPs control which pest/disease. You must ask for this information when you are buying your PPP or check on the label of the pesticide container.

  • Our database will let you search for the purpose of the pesticide, for example, insecticide.
  • Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of 'Field of Use/ Action'. Highlight the Action which applies, for example:
    • Insecticide: a pesticide used to control unwanted insects, for example, blackfly
    • Fungicide: A pesticide used to control unwanted fungal diseases in plants, for example, white spot
    • Herbicide: controls unwanted vegetation (weed killer)
  • This should now be displayed in the Field of Use/Action box.
  • It may also be useful to narrow your search to the plant/area where you have the pest/disease. See Which PPP can I use on a particular plant or area in my garden?
  • Click on 'Get Results'.

What do the Results mean?

When you have done your search and clicked on 'Get Results' you will either get:

  • No authorised products were found that match your query

This means that there are no plant protection products matching your query which you can legally use. However, you might try repeating your search. Make sure you use the picklists available and if you typed in a MAPP No. ensure it has 5 digits.

For further help and advice contact us.

  • Authorised Products Search Results

This gives you a list of all the plant protection products that match your search and which you can legally use (as long as you follow label instructions). Expiry dates show the last date on which a you can use a product. If you click on the product name you will get more details of the product's authorisation.

If a product which you bought some time ago does not appear on the list, it is no longer authorised for use or storage. You can contact your local council for details of how to dispose of it safely.

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Updated 2023-02-23