By Matthew Schafer
Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved
One of the latest fads to hit the martial arts/personal protection world is using wasp spray instead of pepper spray for personal defense. The reasoning is that wasp spray is cheaper, more easily available, just as effective, and can be sprayed up to 20 ft which allows it to be deployed at a safer distance than pepper spray.
The truth is that wasp spray should only be used as a personal protection weapon as a last resort. Yes, wasp spray is generally cheaper and more easily available to most people than pepper spray but it is not as effective and that fact that it can spray a longer distance is mute because most attacks happen within 5 feet.
Pepper spray inflames the tissues of the face while wasp spray is a poison designed to kill insects. If you get this poison is a person’s mouth or eyes it could prove permanently disabling or even fatal. While pepper spray is a non-lethal self defense weapon, wasp spray, being a poison, could be considered a deadly weapon if you use it against someone or are found carrying it.
Most states have strict laws regulating what a person can carry for their personal protection. In Michigan, where I live, a person can carry pepper spray as long as it contains 2% or less of the active ingredient oleoresin capsicum (OC). Carrying a different spray for self defense would be against the law.
Not only that, most products carry a label that states: "It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling." So carrying it for personal defense could get you charged with a federal crime not to mention using it for self defense. Granted, if you are attacked in your home and the only thing you have in your reach to use as a weapon is wasp spray than you should use it and the law would be out of their mind to prosecute you (unless you live in England where people have little to no right to their own defense).
In short forget about using wasp spray and carry pepper spray which is safe, proven effective (as long as it is actually pepper spray with the active ingredient being “OC” or “red pepper” and NOT mace), and legal.