Bringing insect repellent or bug spray is the right thing to do especially if you are going to camp or visit a forest on your upcoming trip. Nonetheless, some types of bug spray are considered hazardous.
That’s why if you need to ride a plane, you should be wary of the restrictions for such items and find out which types of bug spray are permitted to get through the airport checkpoint.
Below, we listed down all the important reminders and tips you shouldn’t miss if you’ll be traveling by air.
The Quick Answer: Yes. You are allowed to bring bug spray on a plane, but remember to follow the Transportation Security Administration’s (or TSA) rules, especially if it is in an aerosol can.
Bug spray is usually considered liquid, so TSA’s rules for travel liquids apply for this item. This means you can put bug spray inside your carry-on bag if the container is 3.4 oz (or 100 ml) or less. Otherwise, TSA officers will ask you to place it in your checked baggage but with certain limitations as well before you can go on board.
Can You Bring Bug Spray Through Airport Security?
The Federal Aviation Administration or FAA allows passengers to bring aerosols on a plane, but subject to specific rules of course. You can get through the checkpoint without any issues as long as you comply with TSA’s regulations for these items.
Like any other travel liquids, bug spray should be placed separately from your luggage so the TSA officers can easily inspect it. They have the right to confiscate your item if it doesn’t meet their requirements. You can check out TSA’s website to learn more about their 3-1-1 rules for travel liquids.
Do TSA Officers Allow Bug Spray in Both Carry-on and Checked Bags?
The answer is yes. Bug spray or any insect repellent that is not flammable is permitted both in carry-on and checked baggage.
However, there are different restrictions for each, so make sure to get familiar with these rules ahead of your flight. Keep in mind that TSA officers have the final word on whether your item is allowed on board or not.
Bringing Bug Spray in a Carry-on Bag
If you want to place your bug spray in your carry-on bag, make sure that it is 3.4 oz or less and sits comfortably inside a quarter-sized zipped bag. Otherwise, TSA officers will confiscate your item at the checkpoint.
Bringing Bug Spray in a Checked Bag
The FAA allows each passenger to carry a total amount of 2 kg (or 70 oz) or 2 L (or 68 fluid ounces) of bug spray in their checked baggage. Keep in mind that each container should only weigh around 0.5 kg (or 18 oz) or less.
What Are the Types of Insect Repellent Allowed and Not by the TSA?
Unfortunately, only bug spray types applied to skin and clothes are permitted.
If you are bringing insect repellent with an aerosol device (button or nozzle), it must be protected from accidental release. If your repellent is in a roll-on or pump container, you can bring them to the checkpoint without worries as long as it falls under the quantity limitation for travel liquids.
TSA officers won’t allow you to bring flammable insecticide spray and bug spray used for eliminating insects in the air as these may harm the passengers or cause accidents during the flight.
These items are absolutely not allowed, both in carry-on and checked baggage, even if the containers are 3.4 oz (100 ml) or less.
Can You Bring Bug Spray on an International Flight?
While the United States allows most aerosols on a plane, there are countries that restrict travelers to do so.
This is why TSA recommends that you should check with the customs agency at your destination if you are allowed to carry one with you. Also, some airlines don’t allow aerosols on board. You should also get in touch with your airline to check whether your bug spray is allowed or not.
If you are not permitted to bring your bug spray, just duck into the nearest supermarket or convenience store at your destination to buy one.
I remember being on a flight to New Zealand some years ago which landed at Perth in Australia en-route. We had to stay in our seats while two Australian officials (wearing masks) walked through the cabin spraying insecticide as they went. That wasn’t a pleasant welcome to Australia.
How Can You Safely Store Bug Spray in Your Baggage?
The possibility of aerosols exploding on a plane may frighten some travelers, but under normal circumstances, aerosols are unlikely to explode on a plane.
However, you can make sure that your items won’t cause any problems by packing them properly. For example, you may tape the button or nozzle to the container so it won’t be pressed accidentally. Wrapping the bug spray in a towel is also a good idea to prevent it from leaking or exploding.
Got More Questions? Ask TSA Directly on Twitter or Facebook
If you want to clarify something with TSA or you have other concerns not covered above, you may reach out to them via Twitter or Facebook. They are available from Monday to Friday to answer your inquiry. You can tag @AskTSA if you’re posting your question on Twitter.
If you’re using Facebook, you may send TSA’s official account a private message with complete details of your concern.
Take a look at this Twitter user who asked whether bug spray is allowed or not in checked bags:
For follow-up questions, you can simply reply to their response and wait for them to get back to you. They usually reply quickly so you don’t have to “bump” your inquiry every hour.
Do you want to make sure that your bug spray is allowed on a plane? You may include a picture of your bug spray in your post. Here’s an example you can emulate:
I have been traveling around the world by air since the early 70s and living overseas too. I worked for British Airways for a number of years and I am also a private pilot. About Me