Disinsection is permitted under international law in order to protect public health, agriculture and the environment. The World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization stipulate two approaches for aircraft disinsection– (1) spray the aircraft cabin with an aerosolized insecticide while passengers are on board or (2) or spray or treat the aircraft's interior surfaces with a residual insecticide (residual method) while passengers are not on board. US territories American Samoa and Guam have adopted a third method, in which aircraft are sprayed with an aerosolized insecticide while passengers are not on board.
Although the Report of the Informal Consultation on Aircraft Disinsection sponsored by the World Health Organization (November 6-10, 1995) concluded that aircraft disinsection, if performed appropriately, would not present a risk to human health, the report also noted that some individuals may experience transient discomfort following aircraft disinsection by aerosol application.
Under the Chicago Convention, which governs international civil aviation, a country could impose a disinsection requirement should they perceive a threat to their public health, agriculture or environment. Accordingly, travelers are advised to check with their travel agent or airline reservations agent when booking flights or if they have questions about their final destination’s policy.
The following provides general information about disinsection requirements. Note: Policies may be changing. DOT continues to work to ensure that this list is accurate and up to date.
Countries requiring the disinsection of all in-bound flights with an aerosolized spray while passengers are on board:
- Ecuador (only Galapagos and Interislands)
- Trinidad and Tobago
Areas of contagious diseases
Areas of malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever
|Hong Kong||All incoming aircraft from Zika-affected countries designated as WHO Category 1 or Category 2|
All aircraft coming from areas affected by Zika virus transmission and areas where the Aedes aegypti carrier is present
Generally, flights coming from African continent, Asia and sub regions, the Middle East and islands of the Indian Ocean, and flights coming from any other country where mosquito borne diseases are prevalent.
|Flights from major infectious disease/Zika-infected countries|
|Non-US carriers from Korea, Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand|
Some in-country flights
Republic of Korea
|30 countries, not including the United States|
Areas of malaria or yellow fever
Incoming flights from areas with arbovirus vectors Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus
|Areas of yellow fever|
Malarial countries and countries with confirmed transmission of Zika (Voluntary)
Information on Carrying Mosquito Repellants
For travelers who wish to carry insect repellents with them, the Federal Aviation Administration’s website for airline passengers and crew on hazardous materials (http://www.faa.gov/Go/PackSafe) includes detailed information on the rules and exceptions for “Mosquito repellent, insect repellent.”