Enough with the recommendations about using wasp spray for self-defense! This is an incredibly bad idea all the way around.
While an argument could be made that any substance sprayed into the eyes might serve as a deterrent, wasp spray doesn’t have quite the knock down effect that you may think it would. It might sting but that’s about it. Pepper spray does a whole lot more than just hurt. It causes the eyes to slam shut and stay that way for a bit. It also causes the mucous membranes to swell, leading to difficulty with breathing. In short, not a whole lot of fun.
Wasp spray does pretty much none of that.
On top of being relatively ineffective, using wasp spray in self-defense can lead to a world of hurt…for you. Take a look at your can of wasp spray. Read the instructions and I bet you’ll find a sentence similar to this — “It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” Using wasp spray, or indeed any insecticide product, for self-defense is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Do you really want to spend the next few years battling it out in Federal court? Any idea how much you’ll accumulate in legal fees?
Even if criminal charges aren’t filed, the family of the guy or gal you sprayed might decide to pursue it in civil court. Yes, they could do so no matter what weapon you used in self-defense but by employing a substance that is illegal to use in that fashion, you’ve made their case a bit easier to win.
Sure, all bets are off when it comes to self-defense. If you find yourself in anything approximating a fair fight, it means you screwed up. There’s no such thing as cheating when your life is on the line. But, if you are going to carry some sort of non-lethal weapon like a spray, you have a free and open choice right now of what to pack. Choosing wasp spray is a bad choice. Go with a proven product like good quality pepper spray.
To be absolutely clear, as there has apparently been some misunderstanding, we are not talking about improvising a weapon, at home or elsewhere. If you’re attacked, you should use anything and everything at hand to prevail, which includes cans of any sort of spray that might be nearby. However, if you’re going to carry any sort of weapon for defense, you should choose something that not only works effectively but that will not cause you legal trouble should you need to use it.