In many foci of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL), domestic dogs are important reservoir hosts of the causative Leishmania parasites transmitted by phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae). We tested the protective value of impregnated dog collars (20 g plastic containing deltamethrin 800 mg ai) against Phlebotomus papatasi (Scopoli) sandflies in Iran. For each assay, the dog was sedated and caged in a net with 70-100 wild-caught sandflies overnight (23.30-06.30 hours). Dogs wearing the collars were bitten by approximately 80% fewer sandflies than before collars were fitted, i.e. 51% vs. 11% of hungry female flies exposed. Sandfly mortality rates following 20 h exposure to dogs with collars (18%) or without collars (17%) were not significantly different. Effects of collars were tested when dogs had been wearing them for 8 days. A previous trial against the sandfly P. perniciosus Newstead in France, using smaller dogs, showed that effects of such collars were not fully realized until they had been worn for 2 weeks or more; they remained effective for at least 8 months and killed significant proportions of the sandflies exposed. Present results with P. papatasi, confirming that this simple device provides effective protection against sandflies, are considered sufficiently encouraging to justify a community-wide field trial of deltamethrin-impregnated dog collars against ZVL vector sandflies in Iran.