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Is Wasp Spray Good For Self-Defense?

The short answer would be no. In a previous post, I strongly recommended it. Maybe I was wrong. So let’s get into the whys and whats of Why You Shouldn’t Use Wasp Spray For Self Defense. I would not want to lead you down the wrong path when it comes to defending yourself. I will also compare wasp spray with a more conventional means of self-defense the always popular pepper spray. But as it stands now, wasp spray for self-defense would most likely just piss off your attacker and not disable him completely. So let’s dig in.

wasp spray for self defenseWhat’s Inside Wasp Spray?

Wasp and hornet spray is formed from known insecticides including pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, carbaryl, petroleum distillates, and inert ingredients are added with a solvent and propellant composition consisting of 1,1,1 trichloroethane and carbon dioxide and wherein the interaction is obtained between the solvent-propellant and the insecticides to improve the effectiveness of getting the contents to the desired target at a safe distance.

Pyrethrins are pesticides found naturally in some chrysanthemum flowers. They are generally a mixture of six chemicals that are toxic to insects. By and of themselves, they are generally considered safe for humans.

Piperonyl Butoxide enhances the potency of certain pesticides such as carbamates, pyrethrins, pyrethroids, and rotenone.

Carbaryl is a man-made pesticide that is toxic to insects. It has acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) occupational exposure to humans, but it is not going to stop someone in his tracks. If your attacker feels anything from this chemical, it will be too late for you.

Petroleum Distillates along with those other ingredients allow pesticides to reach their targets better, reduce runoff, and improve rain resistance. In other words, hit the target and stick to a target.

How Does Wasp Spray Work?

Wasp sprays will use those above chemicals to cause catastrophic damage to the wasp’s nervous system on contact, paralyzing them and then killing them. This is why a wasp will drop out of the air almost instantly after being sprayed.

When the spray comes into contact with any insect, the nerves and muscles of wasps all contract at once – causing an overwhelming stretch of energy. So actually, the substances inside wasp spray will cause paralysis to the wasps and other flying insects, which forces the insects to drop to the ground. But consider the size difference and you might get to the understanding of why you shouldn’t use wasp spray for self-defense. It will take an awful lot of those chemicals to bring down an attacker.

Dangers Of Wasp Spray To Humans

Wasp and hornet spray is poison. It can be extremely toxic to people and animals. But wasp spray isn’t capable of incapacitating human beings. The amount of those active ingredients in the spray itself  (via the label) is 0.04% to 0.06%; the compound is typical to the chemicals I listed above: ‘pyrethrin or pyrethroids, which come from a species of the chrysanthemum plant.‘ This active ingredient is meant to disrupt a wasp’s nervous system. Not an oncoming attacker to any stoppable extent.

Also, some independent testing concluded that wasp spray is would be minimally irritating to human eyes, so how could it be expected to stop an attacker? Maybe slow him down but not slow enough to for getting in the way of his goals. You are just going to piss that person off a little more and give that person more determination. Not a good idea for self-defense. As I mentioned in a previous post

Now don’t get this wrong. It is still poison. The careless use of spraying wasp spray indoors would be a struggle, but it should not cause any immediate problems for humans. Of course, you should make sure to provide proper ventilation to get rid of and out of the way of the wasp spray as soon as possible. And have easy access to some soap and water to clean yourself up.

Pepper Spray vs Wasp Spray

So I talked a little about wasp spray in the attacker’s eyes and the minimal effect it would have. But designed specifically for use on humans, pepper spray will cause involuntary eye closure, swelling of the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and throat and nasal and sinus discharge. It will also cause coughing, shortness of breath, and drying of the eyes as well as painful burning of the skin. Pretty much what wasp spray will do to a wasp.

And don’t forget what else an effective defense will also do to your attacker: the psychological effects such as fear, anxiety, and panic. That’s how to stop someone in their tracks. Get control of the body and mind.

Can You Go Blind From Pepper Spray?

The active ingredient in pepper spray, oleoresin capsicum, is a natural oil found in many types of hot peppers. It is an inflammatory agent that makes the eyes and mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract swell up causing pain and even temporary blindness. After you spray an attacker, the immediate effects of spraying that person in the face with your pepper spray will include a burning sensation in the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat but can also cause difficulty breathing and temporary blindness when the eyes swell shut. The effects can last up to an hour and possibly days if not treated.

If you are lucky and your attacker has something such as an allergy to the ingredients in pepper spray, an asthma condition, or a pre-existing heart complication, that attacker may experience a more harsh reaction. Good for you, bad for that person.

So how long can pepper spray blindness last?  The eyes tend to get better on their own in about 30 minutes and usually will not require any medical treatment. A cough or shortness of breath can persist, especially in people with lung disorders (again bad for them).

Feeling sorry for that person or did you point that spray in the wrong direction?  Here is a treatment idea for you: Gently pour a saline solution, water, directly into the eyes, aiming away from the nose. Do not pour the solution over the person’s forehead; this can wash more chemical irritants into the eyes. Have the patient blink like crazy as the solution flows over the eyes. But if it was an attacker, I advise to let the attacker suffer till help arrives.

can wasp spray kill meCan Pepper Spray Kill You?

Pepper spray is known as a “nonlethal weapon,” or a weapon that cannot kill people. Pepper spray is completely non-toxic and safe according to the Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 

The effects of pepper are usually mild and temporary, lasting minutes to hours. However, more severe injury is possible including corneal abrasions, wheezing, and skin blisters.

Complications are uncommon, but serious exposure can lead to more severe injuries to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. It is recommended that you bring an exposed person to the hospital if their symptoms persist for longer than 30 to 45 minutes.

Death is rare, but several reports have involved pepper spray in fatal outcomes in people with asthma (again bad for that attacker, good for you).

Home-Made Pepper Spray

pepper sprayWant to make your own pepper spray? Although it’s not difficult, it will not be as ‘lethal’ as an over-the-counter brand. But it will be a good ‘go to’ defense tool ’till you get to the store. Before making your pepper spray at home, you should take some precautions. Make sure that you will do it in a well-ventilated place to prevent serious breathing problems, you don’t want to be on the bad end of this recipe. By all means, protect your eyes.

You will need:

  • 6  of the hottest chile peppers you can find dried with an air fryer or dehydrator
  • 2 crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 12 oz rubbing alcohol
  • Mix all the above using a blender and pour through a cheesecloth-lined funnel into a spray bottle. Mix in another 12 0z alcohol and your good to go after you screw on the sprayer top. The longer it sits the stronger it becomes. It should last about 4-6 months. Keep out of reach of children. Duh!

Do It Yourself Wasp Spray

Why you shouldn’t use wasp spray for self-defense but for killing wasps only. Let’s do that.

So let’s get back to those pesky wasps. Although we learned why you shouldn’t use wasp spray for self-defense, we still do not want those things flying around us. So unless you know how to train them to attack the attacker, let us just kill them. Here are a couple of homemade effects just for that quest. I should mention that dealing with wasps can be difficult and potentially dangerous to you. Wasps are hard to hit, even with commercial sprays with their far-reaching propellents. Wasp stings pack quite a punch, hurting badly and possibly leading to redness, swelling, and itching. or worse if you happen to have allergies.

Liquid Dish Soap such as Dawn mixed with water (25% soap to 75% water) will quickly suffocate the little buggers. The soap helps the water get into their breathing tubes. Not a good condition to be in if your a sprayed wasp.

Lemon Extract Three tablespoons of lemon extract to one cup of water will be an effective killer of a spray to rid yourself of those pesky wasps. You could also use a little stronger solution to spray the nest. The resulting dousing will prevent them from returning to their home. Just be careful. They will not be too happy about giving up their real estate.

Peppermint Oil is another type of deterrent. A tablespoon to a cup of water mixed up in a spray bottle will do the trick of keeping wasps away from areas. This solution will need to be reapplied about once a week till the wasps get the idea that they are not welcomed here.

Please be careful when using these homemade remedies. They will not act as fast as those commercial products you can purchase.