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Aircraft and Passengers Being Sprayed on Flights to Uruguay?

Has anyone encountered this on flights? It sounds pretty scary, that you'd be sprayed with pesticide while trapped in an aircraft, especially with children. Just looking for general comments from those who've experienced this and/or from anyone who has recently been to Uruguay.
Advising her to enter Uruguay by flying to Argentina instead, because it sounds like you can fly there without risk and take the ferry to Uruguay.

Posted by
6113 posts

I have been on numerous flights globally where the aircraft is sprayed before you disembark. I seem to recall being sprayed before entering Australia. Nothing scary about it as it’s not harmful and it may stop disease spreading, which is a good thing. It’s no use carrying something in via the back door ie Argentina.

Posted by
1459 posts

Happens in a fair number of 3rd world countries especially where mosquitoes are present. It is safe and has been going on for many many years. Obviously these things have been tested before being approved for use in a closed space.

Posted by
3609 posts

Although I'm not a fan of pesticides, diseases carried by mosquitoes still kill a million people a year. A teacher in Alabama died a few years ago of malaria after a trip to another country. I'll take my chances with the pesticides(and of course anti-malarial drugs and yellow fever shots).

Posted by
269 posts

Yes it's not harmful. Arnold, I wouldn't call Uruguay a third world country!

Posted by
5818 posts

Aircraft entering Hawaii use to be sprayed. I don't recall when the Hawaiian bound spraying stopped. I believe that the insectacide was a pyrethroid.

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

Interesting choice - aerosol or residuals.

Posted by
3493 posts

Used to happen a lot on international flights. Some airlines would have the flight attendants walk down the aisle with cans of spray. Others had it built in to the A/C system and you never knew you were getting sprayed.

No more harmful than spraying to kill insects in your home with what you bought at the store. Probably safer because they don't tend to over spray as many homeowners do.

Posted by
380 posts

On the flight to the Galapagos, the crew spray inside the overhead bins before landing.

Posted by
3636 posts

I went to Montevideo for a family wedding recently and was not sprayed with anything let alone pesticide.

Posted by
4042 posts

As mentioned, happens on flights to numerous destinations. If you had not read it, you most likely wouldn't have even recognized it on the flight. Scents are used in the air system on almost all flights these days and you can assume they are not 'all natural' ingredients.
People wear Permethrin saturated travel clothing for weeks on end. Now, this is something that I won't do, but it is recognized as being a natural derivative and non harmful. Sounds like the plane products are similar.

Posted by
6222 posts

Happens all the time. I've been sprayed on flights to Mexico (just a year ago), Central America, Hawaii, Southeast Asia (more than a couple years ago). They tend to do it with little advance notice, no fanfare: after the "everyone needs to be in their seats now" announcement, another brief announcement follows, along the lines of "as we begin our descent into Cancun, as part of agricultural requirements..." A flight attendant (tightly covering her own nose/mouth with a cloth) briskly walks down the aisle with an aerosol can, sweeping from side to side, spraying (mostly) the walkway, a little bit in the air, from front of the plane to the back. Process probably takes 30-60 seconds. It's not like you have many options at that point (best option: cover you nose, mouth, eyes, as best you can with whatever you're wearing; take a good deep breath before they get to your row, as you see the FA coming, and hold your breath as long as you can as the stuff settles, try not to think about it). At least I hope it kills the bugs.

Personally, I've never flown to Uruguay, but you could just as easily get sprayed flying to Argentina or many other countries (including parts of the USA, in fact). I'd certainly not re-route my flight over worries about this. You could be exposed to all sorts of things outside your comfort zone every time you leave your house, so you might want to calibrate your expectations.

BTW, I believe people who live in "third world countries" prefer the term "developing countries", which seems to have less of a stigma (and less implication that there's some kind of a contest being held).

Posted by
85 posts

Do you know which airline? I've been to MVD via MIA and back on American several times and this spraying never happened.