The Wasp Spray Myth

02 02 2015


A particularly concerning myth is that wasp spray is better than human pepper spray for self-defense. The argument in favor of wasp spray says that wasp spray has a longer range and a stronger effect on the assailant.

First, let’s talk range. Same-sized canisters of wasp and human spray have about the same range. But even more practical are compact, keychain-sized models that can hit a target up to around 10 feet away.

Next, let’s cover strength/effectiveness. The truth is that wasp spray is specifically designed to incapacitate a specific insect. We have yet to see thorough testing proving wasp spray is reliable for safe and effective use on mammals. In addition, you might find yourself navigating tricky and stressful legal ground if you hit a human with wasp spray.

The Resist Attack Foundation sums it up nicely:

“With pepper spray, you’re getting legal and reliable stopping power. There is simply no reason to trust your safety to something meant to stop wasps. The US Customs and Border Protection Agency, the United States’ largest user of chemical agents such as pepper spray, does not recommend the use of wasp spray for this off-label use.”