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10 Reasons Not to Use Wasp Spray for Self-Defense

Self-defense is one of the most important things you can learn. Not only will basic self-defense skills keep you safe in dangerous situations, they will also build your personal confidence.

There are plenty of martial arts and weapons that can keep you safe, but wasp spray isn’t one of them. 

Using wasp spray self defense is a recipe for disaster. Not only is it not effective in stopping an attacker, it’s also federally illegal. You could wind up in more trouble than your attacker if you use wasp spray for self-defense. 

Let’s take a closer look at why you shouldn’t use wasp spray for self-defense. 

1. No Evidence of Efficacy

This is one of the big reasons you shouldn’t use wasp spray for self-defense measures. There’s just no evidence that it works. 

Wasp spray is formulated to kill insects, not to prevent an attack from a person. The only data that we have on how wasp spray affects people comes from accidental exposures.

It’s just simply not made for this application and using it in this way might not give you the results that you’re hoping for (unlike other creative substances).

Wasp spray isn’t designed to have stopping power against humans. Depending on the formulation of the particular spray, how it’s distributed, and a variety of other factors, it might not even be able to slow them down. 

2. Pepper Spray vs. Wasp Spray

One of the things I always dress in this conversation is the differences between pepper spray and wasp spray. 

Pepper spray, also called O.C spray, is made using oleoresin capsicum. This is derived from the same chemical that makes hot peppers burn your mouth.

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It’s got well researched effects on humans and pepper sprays are formulated for very specific uses. 

A can of pepper spray is designed to stop or deter an attacker. It’s built with that purpose in mind. They can be extremely painful, but the odds of them causing lasting damage isn’t as high as with other weapons. 

Wasp spray uses a variety of chemicals designed to kill insects. These chemicals are tested on insects with the express purpose of killing them. They are not tested on humans and their effects are not well known. 

If there’s one thing to take away from this article, it’s that wasp spray for self-defense just doesn’t work. 

3. Ineffective for Immediate Threats

Pepper spray was formulated to give immediate results. If you’ve ever been exposed to pepper spray, you know that it has intense stopping power.

Even being slightly caught in the mist of pepper spray it’s enough to stop even the strongest attacker.

Being exposed to pepper spray causes an intense burning, but it also temporarily blinds an attacker by causing their eyes to water and swell up. Most people also know how bad pepper spray can get, which is why they back off when they see the familiar look of a pepper spray can.

Wasp spray does not have these immediate effects. It simply won’t cause the kind of reactions that pepper spray uses to stop an attacker. If you spray someone with wasp spray, it might not have any immediate effect at all. 

4. Effects Can Be Immediately Treated

Wasp spray is also designed to be relatively safe around humans. Sure, you should avoid exposing yourself to wasp spray at all costs, but if you accidentally get some on you, you can quickly and easily wash it off with water and soap.

Pepper sprays are formulated using oil. This means they can’t be easily washed off because they stick to surfaces. If you’ve ever got pepper spray on your clothes, you know that it can be next to impossible to wash that out effectively.

An attacker can quickly wash off wasp spray using something as simple and common as a bottle of water. An especially motivated attacker could also just wipe the wasp spray away and continue on with their goals. 

5. Illegal in USA 

Here’s another thing to consider when it comes to wasp spray self defense. It’s federally illegal and illegal in most states and jurisdictions. 

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act of 1947 makes it illegal to use pesticides in any manner not expressly written on the products label.

It’s also a federal crime to suggest that someone use a pesticide in a manner not consistent with its labeling. 

Pepper spray has plenty of regulation governing how, and when, it can be used, but it’s not outright banned in the way that wasp spray for self defense is. 

This could land you in way more trouble than your attacker, but we’ll get to that later. 

6. Self Harm

Using wasp spray as a self-defense weapon can put you in more danger than you would be without it.

The mist from wasp spray contains chemicals that are dangerous for people. This is dangerous in a way that can cause life-threatening problems as well as long-term dangers such as cancer.

Relying on wasp spray as a self-defense tool is only putting yourself at risk for these long-term harms. 

7. Potential Personal Liability

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Remember just a moment ago when I mentioned that using wasp spray as self-defense is federally legal? Well, as it turns out, you’re under a lot of personal liability when you attempt to use wasp spray for self-defense.

Pepper spray is an accepted self-defense tool. This means that if you use pepper spray on an attacker, there are established laws in place that protect your right to self-defense.

However, these laws do not apply to illegal weapons and this includes wasp spray.

If you use wasp spray on an attacker, and they are harmed by the spray, you can be held liable for those damages. Wasp spray could blind, sicken, or cause long-term medical harm in a person.

If you use wasp spray for self-defense, you could be facing more legal—and financial—trouble than the person you used it on. 

8. Length of Spray and Range

Aerosol

One thing I see over and over again online is individuals talking about the effective range of wasp spray for self-defense. However, this is a complete myth.

In order to unpack this myth, we need to look at how wasp spray is used when it comes to getting rid of insects.

Wasp spray has two modes of dispersal. It can either form a cloud of mist or a directed spray. Both of these methods are designed to eliminate individual wasps as well as hives.

These sprays are either designed to attack a stationary hive at a safe distance or catch a small wasp in a largely dispersed cloud.

The can of wasp spray may advertise a range of 10 to 20 feet, but this is 10 to 20 feet while aiming at a stationary wasp hive.

The speed and strength of dispersal is just not consistent with what you can get with a pepper spray designed purposely for self defense.

Pepper sprays are designed to be used on human attackers. This means that their length of spray and range is carefully tested to ensure consistency and quality. 

This isn’t something that you use on a weekend while you’re gardening, it’s something you need to be able to rely on for your protection. That’s what makes the difference between pepper spray and wasp spray. 

9. Safe and Reliable Alternatives are Readily Available 

One of the big reasons that I see people talking about wasp spray as a self-defense option is that you can buy wasp spray at most stores in the country.

Even corner stores in large cities contain some kind of aerosol pesticide spray that you can readily purchase. However, there are safer, legal, and more reliable alternatives to wasp spray that you can get anywhere in the nation.

Pepper spray is legal in the entire United States. There are only states that have no regulations governing its use and states that have regulations. 

The regulations are typically “common sense” rules such as laws that prevent individuals from using pepper spray in a crowded, enclosed space.

These laws are pretty basic and cover situations where pepper spray would be an inappropriate self defense measure. After all, using pepper spray in a crowded dance club would be a disaster. 

This means that you can purchase a safe and legal can of pepper spray anywhere in the US. You can also carry pepper spray in most places as well. There’s really no reason not to choose pepper spray over wasp spray. 

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  • 2X STRONGER: 4 out 10 violent crimes involve alcohol use by the offender - our maximum strength Pepper Spray is strong enough to use against a goal oriented attacker under the influence of drugs or alcohol; Backed by our industry exclusive in-house HPLC lab, guaranteeing maximum strength in each canister
  • 5X MORE PROTECTION: 42% of crimes are committed by multiple assailants - this defense spray has 25 bursts and a true 10-foot (3m) range delivered in a powerful stream from nozzle to the target's eyes while decreasing wind blowback; SABRE ADVANCED 3-in-1 formula includes max strength pepper spray, CS tear gas for enhanced burning and UV marking dye to help ID suspect
  • FASTER & EASIER TO HIT THE TARGET: Easiest to grasp finger grip enhances your aim and helps keep your eye on the threat; Includes Quick Release Key Ring for immediate access to spray when seconds count; Secure and easy to use twist lock safety
  • TRAINING VIDEOS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SAFETY: In addition to your pepper spray, packaging includes links to free SABRE Pepper Spray training videos and safety tips to help maximize your personal safety
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  • 2X STRONGER: 4 out 10 violent crimes involve alcohol use by the offender - our maximum strength Pepper Spray is strong enough to use against a goal oriented attacker under the influence of drugs or alcohol; Backed by our industry exclusive in-house HPLC lab, guaranteeing maximum strength in each canister
  • 5X MORE PROTECTION: 42% of crimes are committed by multiple assailants - this defense spray has 25 bursts and a true 10-foot (3m) range delivered in a powerful stream from nozzle to the target's eyes while decreasing wind blowback; SABRE ADVANCED 3-in-1 formula includes max strength pepper spray, CS tear gas for enhanced burning and UV marking dye to help ID suspect
  • FASTER & EASIER TO HIT THE TARGET: Easiest to grasp finger grip enhances your aim and helps keep your eye on the threat; Includes Quick Release Key Ring for immediate access to spray when seconds count; Secure and easy to use twist lock safety
  • TRAINING VIDEOS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SAFETY: In addition to your pepper spray, packaging includes links to free SABRE Pepper Spray training videos and safety tips to help maximize your personal safety

10. Wasp Spray Can’t Replace Good Self-Defense 

Wasp spray would only give you a false sense of security when it comes to your self defense. It’s not an actual self defense measure and it won’t provide any protection should you ever have to use it.

Pepper spray is widely available as well as other practical and easy self defense measures such as a loud whistle or basic self defense courses. 

This is your safety we’re talking about. Why not go right to the proven self defense techniques that work? Additionally, you can invest in strategies to prevent self-defense in the first place like improving your home’s interior and exterior door security.