7 Reasons Not to Use Wasp Spray for Self Defense

wasp sprayNow I have seen all kinds of information on the internet that has been posted about the use of wasp spray for self-defense. The first time I saw it, I questioned it’s use for several reasons, since then I have done additional research on the subject and can find nothing that would convince me it works. Plus, in any self-defense situation, you must know the law as it applies to different scenarios. For that purpose, this book about the law and self-defense is a must have.

  1. There is no real proof that it works, all the information is just somebody’s story. No verifiable evidence.
  2. The active ingredients in most wasp sprays contain pyrethrins or pyrethroids. This is derived from the chrysanthemum plant and affects the nervous system.  It’s affect on a humans would not be rapid.
  3. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Household Products Database shows that it causes eye irritation that can be treated by flushing with water.  Now there may be other sprays that have a more serious effect, but do you know which ones they are, if not you are playing Russian roulette.
  4. Federal law prohibits the use of any pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. This makes it a felony to use it on someone and then it probably won’t work.
    wasp spray
    Bear spray

    The big reason that many people give for using wasp spray is that it has a longer-range then pepper spray. If this is a concern they get bear spray, which is pepper spray with more range. Here is the link to a video made by David Nance an expert on self-defense on the use of wasp spray vs. bear spray.  Bear spray has more range and a wide dispersal area.

  5. This is a video showing a young man having both wasp spray and pepper spray, sprayed in his face.  The wasp spray failed to immediately affect him.  You will notice that the pepper spray put him down.
  6. A Seattle family would argue that the advice to use wasp spray is wrong. In December of 2013, Ken Boonstra broke into a home and the husband tried using wasp spray to fend off his attack on his wife. The spray did not stop the attack, but the wife’s use of a sharp steak knife was quite effective.

Personally, I am not going to trust my life to an unproven idea, that I have read on the internet.  I can find no verifiable instances in which it has worked, nor can I find any police department or other reputable authority that says it works. Don’t trust your life to it.

You can read more about using wasp spray for defense here.

Updated July, 2020


9 thoughts on “7 Reasons Not to Use Wasp Spray for Self Defense”

  1. Another thumbs up for “bear spray”. I carried bear spray issued by my agency on the job for 20 years and had occasion to use it numerous times on pit bulls, rabid raccoons, skunks, drunks, and junkies and armed robbers. Having a spray which provides stand off distance away from the skunk so that YOU don’t get sprayed, is helpful! My circumstances were such that work rules prohibited me from carrying a firearm at work, even though I had a permit and was an auxilary deputy, because I was not activated in a law endorcement capacity. While deployed under EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact) FEMA policy prohibited our being armed if performing a Public Works and Enginnering, rather than a law enforcement function. So bear spray was the best option, and I thank our animal control officers for having tbe foresight to order plenty of it.

  2. The product I carry is called Bear Pepper Mace® and has a range up to 35 ft. Its active ingredient of 2% capsaicin, which is a much lower concentration than in law enforcement products such as Mace Sticky Foam which are intended as a personal defense spray against people. In animals it causes temporary blindness by making the eyes immediately slam shut and shuts down the bear’s (or dog’s) sense of smell to trigger difficult breathing, which may give you time needed to make your escape. This item cannot be sold in or shipped to Alaska, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, U.S. Territories or International. Cannot be shipped by air. EPA registration number is 72265-1-61311. To read the Material Data Safety Sheet see:

  3. The Koala Bear is not a bear so we don’t have bear spray in Australia. Neither have I seen Wasp Spray in the supermarket. Pepper spray is illegal to use in Australia. So I guess my only option is Fly spray?

  4. In my opinion not a good idea. Wasp spray is not designed to inhibit breathing or eyesight. It may do those things but it is not nearly as effective as pepper spray. I have sprayed a lot of people with pepper spray. Lots and lots. I can’t remember a single one of those where I didn’t inhale some get some in my eyes. A lot of other occasions I received some friendly fore too. Incidents that happen in close quarters with pepper spray often ends up physical and wrestling around in it is pretty normal. The last thing I want to do is wrestle, breathe or expose my eyes or a loved one to wasp spray…

  5. As to number 4, would using bear spray for self defense against people still be using it in a manner inconsistent with its labeling, and therefore still a criminal act?

    1. I believe so, I looked it up and in some states it is considered as a weapon unless you use it for a bear. Make sure to check your state to be safe.

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