I don’t normally write on self-defense, but I have seen a number of internet posts in circulation that suggest using wasp spray for self-defense. This is something I would be very careful of doing for several reasons.
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 its 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.
Wasp spray is an insecticide, and U.S. Federal Laws prohibit the use of any pesticide or insecticide “in a manner that is inconsistent with its labeling”. You could face federal criminal charges. Many states prohibit the use of substances for self-protection that are not specifically authorized for that purpose. Now I know the first reaction of many people will be so what, if I am attacked I will use anything I need too, to defend myself. But there are other problems with using it.
First of all, there has been no testing of it. You don’t know that it will work or if it does, how fast the affects will set in. Some people who have been accidentally sprayed with it have said that there is very little effect.
Wasp sprays consist of one or more insecticides such as pyrethrum or propoxur. Although the toxic side effects of such chemicals can, include eye and lung irritation in humans, they are poisons for killing insects. They may cause serious harm or injury to humans but it may not be an immediate effect. Some of the emails have suggested setting a can by the front door. If it ever came out in court, you pre-planned the use of wasp spray; you would probably end up in jail and lose everything you owned in the ensuing lawsuit.
One of the big reasons that the posts suggest wasp spray is the range, it can reach out to twenty feet. The extra range is nice but if you buy the right size cans of pepper spray they will reach just as far.
7 Reasons Not to Use Wasp Spray for Self Defense
- There is no real proof that it works, all the information is just somebody’s story. No verifiable evidence.
- The active ingredients in most wasp sprays contain pyrethrin or pyrethroids. This is derived from the chrysanthemum plant and affects the nervous system. It’s affect on a humans would not be rapid.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.