Can I Use Wasp Spray for Self Defense?

Oh no, not the Wasp Spray self defense myth again! The story that a canister of wasp spray is a preferable alternative to pepper spray for self-protection has been circulating for

several years. Is it true? The intended purpose of a wasp spray is to eradicate the wasp.  Period, the end.  

No police department, local or otherwise, would recommend wasp spray for self defense. This product is designed to penetrate the nervous system of the insect and kill it. Furthermore, since insect repellants are regulated by the U.S. EPA, it is a violation of federal law to use the product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. While not common-place, there are cases cited on the EPA enforcement website related to the intentional misuse of pesticides (

More importantly, since wasp spray is a poison and never intended as a self-defense item, there have been no meaningful studies conducted to suggest that it would stop an attacker. On the other hand, pepper spray has been field tested since early 1980 and has a proven track record as an effective, temporarily debilitating agent.  

Upon direct contact, pepper spray affects the eyes, respiratory system, skin and
muscle coordination.  

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