Claim: A can of wasp spray is a preferable alternative to pepper spray for protection against assailants.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, May 2009]
I have a friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area who was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead. The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection. Thought this was interesting and might be of use...
Origins: Canisters of pepper spray (also known as "OC spray" or "oleoresin capsicum") are a common
Wasp spray can have effects similar to pepper spray when used for self-defense, and some have advocated its use for this purpose:
Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them."
Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to
According to sheriff's reports, the three struck the buggy with their car before two of the men directed wasp spray at the couple and threatened them with baseball bats. They demanded money and frisked the husband, but they found he had no cash, police said.
Nearly an hour later, a sheriff's deputy spotted a car trying to force another buggy off a road in the same area. After a short chase, a car containing the suspects was pulled over and they were arrested.
- The active ingredients in most wasp sprays are pyrethrins, compounds derived from a species of the chrysanthemum plant which penetrate the nervous systems of insects and kill them. Since wasp sprays are not formulated to be used directly on human beings, some critics maintain, they should not be relied upon as a form of non-lethal self-defense, as their safety and effectiveness for this purpose has not been sufficiently tested, and the toxic effects of pyrethrin could potentially be much more harmful or less effective than expected.
- Many jurisdictions specifically prohibit the use of any self-defense sprays other than pepper spray. (Additionally, most spray insecticide containers include warnings stating that "It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.")
- The primary benefit claimed in advocating the use of wasp spray over pepper spray is that the former can be effectively deployed from a greater distance ("wasp spray can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate"). However, canisters of pepper spray with an equivalent (or greater) range are commonly available:
Some of our pepper spray will produce a concentrated stream of about
8 feetup to 25 feetin distance. Other sprayers produce a cone spray pattern and others models produce a fog that covers a larger area.
Last updated: 4 August 2014
Dearman, Vicki. "Tip of the Week — Wasp Spray." The [Anahuac] Progress. 22 June 2009. Associated Press. "Three Accused of Trying to Rob Amish Couple." 15 May 2002. WTVG-TV [Toledo, OH]. "Expert Gives Tips on How to Protect Yourself." 10 February 2009.