By: Blonde Two

Actually I think it is all about the insects; but I am no expert. Let me tell you all about it and you can work it out for yourself.

The first time that I ever arrived in New Zealand (in 19thingythingy), I was particularly amused by the aircraft post-landing routine. This involved the passengers (much better behaved than today’s) remaining in their seats whilst the lovely air staff walked through the cabin and sprayed them with stuff. I have, up until now, presumed that the stuff was some kind of insecticide; something to kill all the nasties that we Pommie visitors were obviously smothered with. I would probably object now, but didn’t mind it at the time; it was all part of the teenage adventure.

I thought I would investigate this phenomenon and found out that ‘deinsectation’ still sometimes occurs on inbound planes. This doesn’t have to be all over the passengers (and unless they slipped into my peppermint tea or the landing sweeties, it wasn’t); but it does happen and New Zealand quarantine inspectors have proved that insects are carried in on planes. The chemicals involved are permethrin and pyrethroid. Permethrin could be helpful for many passengers because it gets rid of head lice and ticks. Pyrethroids are good against bed bugs, so are presumably only used in first class cabins as they are the only ones with beds.

These days, you have to go through bio-control before you enter New Zealand. Here you have to declare a variety of things; my favourites being honey, walking boots and orgasms (sorry I may have read that one wrong.) Obviously my favourite from that list is ‘walking boots’ as I refuse to travel without mine (I am quite happy to leave the other two at home.) I have learnt over the years that if you scrub your boots with enough Dettol before you arrive, they smell so clean, when you get them out of your bag to show the nice lady, that she congratulates you and lets you go on your way.