The TSA does not allow bug spray aerosols on a plane. But you can pack liquid bug repellants in checked or carry-on luggage under specific regulations.
Bug repellent is a must when traveling, but you can’t always bring it on a plane. For the most part, it depends on the type of insect repellent you have.
Thus, because of these specific rules, you need to know the TSA regulations before you try to fly with bug repellent.
Therefore, in this article, we will discuss the two main kinds of bug sprays or repellants and their TSA regulations:
- Aerosol Insecticides
- Liquid Bug Sprays and Liquid Repellents
Can You Bring Aerosol Bug Repellent on a Plane?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a clear stance about all aerosol products (products meant to be sprayed in the air). The FAA obliges the TSA not to allow any spray can that does not qualify as medicinal or toiletry.
They provide these regulations because aerosols use flammable propellants to spray them into the air. Thus, the TSA considers bringing bug spray on a plane no different from packing other forms of combustible products, like lighter fluid.
So, let’s explore the specific rules regarding how and where you can pack propellent bug sprays.
You cannot pack propellent bug sprays in your hand luggage. The reason you can not have them is that most bug repellents are flammable liquids containing DEET or Picaridin.
Some people also talk about the possibility of an aerosol bug repellent exploding inside the plane. While an explosion isn’t impossible, it probably won’t happen.
The major concern with an aerosol spray inside a plane is their potential health hazard since aerosols can trigger respiratory problems in some passengers.
Thus, the TSA does not allow aerosol sprays and products unless they are for the skin or hair, such as hair spray.
So, even if you bring a travel-size aerosol bug or mosquito repellent that fits inside your toiletries bag, the TSA agent at security will take it from you.
And while most aerosol bug spray does not have a HAZMAT warning, they are still often flammable, especially if they are the ones containing Picaridin. So, it’s best to leave the propellent bug spray at home.
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Can You Bring Non-Aerosol Insecticides on a Plane?
Most insect repellents in non-aerosol cans do not have the same flammable properties as their spray counterparts. Therefore, there are fewer restrictions regarding bringing non-aerosol liquid on a plane.
You can pack a bug repellant in your hand luggage. But there are three conditions:
1. It should be a travel-size container with a capacity equal to or less than 3.4 ounces (100 ml).
2. The bottle should have a cap to prevent accidental release.
3. You have to pack the insect repellant in a standard quart-sized bag with your toiletries.
The quart-sized bags stated above are the ones you use for medicines and other toiletries. You have to pack all liquids and gels in these bags when you put them in a carry-on.
And because non-aerosol bug repellants come in either liquid or gel form, they must be in your one-quart bag.
Also, make sure you observe the size limit for insect repellant because bug spray bottles larger than 100 ml must go into your checked bags.
Finally, if you’d rather not pack your bug spray in your toiletries bag, you can always get bug spray wipes instead.
Checked luggage gives you considerable freedom when it comes to carrying liquid bug sprays on a plane.
Overall, you can pack any insect repellant bottle under 70 ounces in your checked luggage. However, remember that insect repellent containers over this amount can not go on the plane at all.
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The TSA Officer Gets the Last Say
When it comes to bug spray, bug spray wipes, and any other possibly hazardous materials, the officer at the security checkpoint gets the last say. Thus, it may be better just to buy bug spray at your destination rather than carrying it with you on a flight.
Nobody wants to come home with insect bites. However, if you bring bug spray on a plane, you must follow the rules and the quantity limits mentioned above.
So, make sure you know the regulations for bug spray before you fly. Also, check with your airline to see if they have any different rules about bug spray and similar items.