Defense Against Crime


Wasp Spray vs Pepper Spray

For Self Defense?

I’ve received the following E-mail below and decided to investigate it. After all why not keep something


This was forwarded to me, thought it was interesting information, good to know. 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.

 Is this really true? Let us examine the merits of this claim and the potential legal ramification of using either product.

To start with, Pepper spray is a legal self-defense product in all 50 states, with certain restrictions. . Pepper Spray enables you to defend yourself while keeping a safe distance from an attacker. All you have to do is spray canister towards the attacker’s face and empty the canister. It is messy, but effective. A one second burst to the face will cause temporary blindness, choking, coughing, and nausea-bringing the attacker to his knees. The active ingredient in our spray is Oleoresin Capsicum (O.C.), commonly referred to as red pepper. When considering which pepper spray is most effective, one must consider the percentage of pepper being used and the heat rating of that pepper (measured in Scoville Heat Units or S.H.U.). All of the ones we sell at are two million S.H.U., which is the highest available. At 18% and two million S.H.U., our Street Wise pepper spray is the hottest, most powerful in the world.

Although many brands claim to be the best, we recommend you consider the unbiased results of an independent laboratory* that tests the heat of the pepper once it is sprayed out of the can. The Certified Heat Rating (CHR) measures how hot the pepper spray will be once it comes in contact with your attacker. Our Streetwise 18 Pepper Spray for example  has a CHR of over 180,000 SHU making it one of the hottest, most effective self-defense sprays  you can buy on the market. For comparison, the independent laboratory tested competing brands. They found the average heat rating to be 123,000 SHU, making Streetwise 18 over 46% hotter than the competition!

The potency of this spray enables it to bring down even the most aggressive assailants. Also remember Pepper Spray is used by military and Law Enforcement personnel, because it works. Pepper spray is a long-range self-defense spray. Even the ½ oz canister can spray up to 12 feet, the larger canister can spray further such as 20 to 30 feet. All of our models spray in a cone pattern.

Am I an advocate of Pepper Spay, yes.  But I a bigger advocate of people defending themselves by any means necessary.

The circulating letter/email  asserts that Wasp Spray has a greater range and is more accurate which allows you to deal with the problem from a greater distance so that the potential attacker can’t be a close to you. While this is potentially true, it also depends on the size of the pepper spray and the speed, and position of the attacker. There are self-defense instructors that do advocate using wasp spray, for several reasons such as it’s very easy to find and buy, and has a range of up to 30 feet (depending on the make a model). They will tell you that criminals have been known to use Wasp Spray to attack their victims. It should be noted that criminals have can use and any defensive weapon or device to attack a victim, including wasp spray, pepper spray, guns, knives, a baseball bat,  a big stick etc.

However, there are potential legal issues with using wasp spray as a protective device. The letter says “wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote.” Wasp spray is a poison design to KILL WASP. The active ingredient in most insect sprays including wasp sprays is synthetic pyrethroid, allethin. (US Patent 4234567)  Pyrethrins are used in many varieties of insecticide, fogging products and in some pet products. Pyrethrins are neurotoxins that attack the nervous systems of all insects. The warning labels on all the cars state that “Care should be taken when using this substance around humans and animals.” Don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself.  Overdose and toxicity can result in a variety of symptoms, especially in pets, including drooling, lethargy, muscle tremors, vomiting, seizures and death. Toxicity symptoms in humans include asthmatic breathing, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, headache, nausea, in coordination, tremors, convulsions, facial flushing and swelling, and burning, itching sensation, or worse.

Given that the United States is the most litigious society there is, you could find yourself sued if you purposely used Wasp Spray and it did harm. Every can of Wasp Spray has a notice which says something like:” It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” What happens if when spraying a criminal, you accidentally hit someone else, and they got sick. Stranger things have happened. Many of the sprays actually give a warning that its violation of Federal law to use the product other than for what is was intended for. Again In some US jurisdiction it is actually illegal to use any form of self-defense sprays other than pepper spray or MACE  (again check the laws in your jurisdiction). For example look at the Michigan Penal Code, it says  the only defense spray that is legal is a type of tear gas known as CS, so pepper spray itself is illegal. Canisters of CS may not contain anything above 35 grams of the spray, and they are not allowed to be made up of more than 2% of the active ingredient Oleoresin Capsicum (OC). This law is in place to ensure that people do not take advantage of their self-defense weapon and use it for any other purpose than their own protection.  However, if it a matter of you or them, use what you have to use. Self preservation takes precedence. However, if you planned to use it and the attacker died, it could be see as premeditated murder. Again stranger things have happened.

We can conclude that you are better to stick with purchasing pepper spray over wasp spray as a defense product, as the choice of personal protection. There are cities that have stores that sell it, and you can almost always get it over the internet, except in those states where it can only be purchased in state. Pepper Spray is a legal and typically non-lethal form of self-defense that has a sufficient range to offer you the protection you need.

And of course there are other legal means of self-defense, but remember if it is a matter of you or them…always choose you. is dedicated to meeting the safety needs of you, your friends, or your family members by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protecting yourself, your family and property arm yourself with our products and the knowledge about the best way to stay safe in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option


1 Comment

  1. I have been reading the same claim all over the internet. Wasp Spray is not a means of defending yourself and it’s a shame that this story has been circulating as quickly as it has. It’s my understanding that people are running to their local stores and buying up wasp spray to use as defense.

    I hope it’s understood that it’s a violation of Federal Law to use WASP spray, a registered pesticide, in this manner. Call a WASP spray manufacturer and not a single one of them will recommend you use their product in this fashion because its a violation of federal law. The CHEMICALS in WASP spray can cause permanent eye injury or worse and leave you in some legal trouble. And, if you have kids in your house and your leaving wasp spray in places where you think intruders will break-in – these places are very accessible to children! There aren’t safety devices on wasp spray. However, there are on Pepper Spray. Stick with what was made for the cause and not what was made for insects!

    Thanks for setting the record straight. This is one of the first blogs I’ve seen debunking Wasp Spray.


    Comment by Sarah — 08/02/2010 @ 10:32 AM

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