Use Wasp Spray to Stop an Assailant as a Criminal Deterrent-Disputed!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a forwarded self defense tip that says if you do not have pepper spray to use a can of wasp spray to stop an assailant. Wasp spray shoots a stream up to twenty feet and can temporality blind an attacker.

The Truth:

The source quoted in the eRumor for this suggestion of the use of wasp spray for defense is a man named Val Glinka. He is real and is a self defense instructor at Sylvania Southview High School near Toledo Ohio. He told an ABC affiliate that he considers wasp spray “inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray.”  Glinka said, “This is better than anything I can teach them.”

Pepper spray is a personal defense weapon that is legal in all 50 states. Each state has various restrictions as to how it is sold and when it was originally introduced users in some states had to take a self defense class to be certified for proper use.

We have not found any other credible source that recommends using wasp spray instead of pepper spray. We have not found any studies that suggest that wasp spray would be effective as a deterrent.

There is also a liability issue to consider. There is the question of whether using insecticides in such a manner could bring liability issues for the user.    Insecticides are controlled by the Environmental  Protection Agency (EPA), which prohibits the use of such products other than the originally intended purpose.   The EPA web site has information posted that says insecticides must be properly labeled to inform users on proper use before they can be sold. The EPA site also says, “The overall intent of the label is to provide directions for product use while managing risks to human health and the environment. It is a violation of federal law to use a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.”

Police officer J.D. Dhein hosts an internet radio feature called “Police On The Scene” and this eRumor was read to him on his program by his producer. Dhein was taken by surprise by the advice offered and voiced his concerns about liability issues of using wasp spray against an assailant.   He said that he did not believe that any police department would suggest the use of wasp spray as a criminal deterrent.  He did offer the church a valuable tip when counting the offering and that was to lock the door.

Updated 06/04/10

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

If you don’t have a gun, here’s a more humane way to wreck someone’s evil plans for you.

Did you know this? I didn’t. I never really thought of it before.

Wasp Spray

A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area 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.

Thought this was interesting and might be of use.

On the heels of a break-in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo dead, self defense experts have a tip that could save your life.

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School . For decades, he’s suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed.

Glinka says, “This is better than anything I can teach them.”

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says “spray the culprit in the eyes”. It’s a tip he’s given to students for decades.

It’s also one he wants everyone to hear. If you’re looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray.

“That’s going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out.” Maybe even save a life.

Please share this with all the people in your life, especially those who are vulnerable or alone.