How To Keep Wasps Away in Iowa: The Worst & Best Wasp Repellents

May 22, 2023

When spring and summer come around, so do wasps in Iowa. These warmer months provide the perfect environment for wasps to build their nests and focus on growing a strong and functioning wasp colony. Unfortunately, this seasonal process does not go unnoticed by us humans, especially homeowners looking to enjoy their sunny days outside.

People want to enjoy their backyards without the fear of having to deal with wasps! So, what are the best ways to keep wasps at bay? Our Des Moines wasp removal experts have all the answers and discuss the most common myths about wasp repellents and how to keep wasps out of your yard.

Top Questions & Ways to Keep Wasps Away

A common misconception among homeowners is that wasps can actually be scared away by certain products found online. Companies will try to convince you that purchasing their “wasp repellent” will keep these pests away. When our team gets questions about these products and DIY solutions, it is our duty to inform customers that these methods are not effective and explain why we generally consider them to be a waste of money. Let’s dive into some of the most common examples of these products and why they do not actually prevent wasps.

Visual Wasp Repellents 


The Des Moines wasp removal experts at Preferred Pest Control have seen visual wasp devices (like fake wasp nests for example) grow in popularity in recent years. The idea behind fake wasp nest products is similar to that of a scarecrow in a cornfield. Unlike a wooden stick figure meant to scare something away, visual wasp repellents are designed to inform other wasps that the area is taken. People assume if there is already a “wasp nest” present in or around your home, other wasps will not want to inhabit the same area, however, this is actually false! Wasps are social creatures that are simply seeking out shelter from the elements. There are various types of wasps in Iowa and each may rely on different shelters for their colonies. As a homeowner, do not be surprised if you come across multiple types of wasp nests in your yard. 

Do fake wasp nests work?

Visual wasp repellents, like fake wasp nests, will not keep wasps away from your home. While clever and simple, they lack effectiveness because wasps just don’t mind having other wasp neighbors. If you encounter wasps on your property, our experts encourage you to avoid wasting time and money on visual wasp repellents and instead reach out to professionals.

Do plants repel wasps?

There is some speculation that the oil in certain plants will repel wasps. Plants like citronella, eucalyptus, and lemongrass are often recommended as wasp repellents for this reason. While these plants might successfully deter wasps away from a small area, they are typically not an effective solution to eliminate wasps entirely from your property.

Do scent-based wasp deterrents work?

There is a LONG list of scented DIY solutions to keep wasps away, but no pungent scent alone will do the trick. The most common scents and spices recommended include very aromatic products like peppermint oil, vinegar, garlic, cloves, and thyme.

We recommend avoiding DIY solutions entirely. Finding which solution actually works will generally just cost you time and money, and if you don’t use an effective method or take proper precautions, you could suffer from multiple stings and possibly an allergic reaction. Turning to professional services for wasp control in Des Moines will ensure a safe and effective removal of any wasps on your property.

Wasp Traps 


On the opposite side of the spectrum from deterrents, some homeowners attempt the attract and trap method. The ads on wasp traps tell you that by setting up a trap a certain distance from your patio or where you spend time, you can actually keep the wasps away from your gatherings. Unfortunately, these traps generally have the opposite effect. Setting wasp traps only tends to bring more wasps to your home since they’re doing their job of attracting them to the trap. In this, these “traps” work great at attracting more wasps, but don’t generally solve the problem of eliminating them.

What are wasps attracted to?

Wasps are most attracted to sweets and leftover foods like fruit juice, pop and even meat. Sweets and food can easily be placed in traps and are often used by homeowners to attract and capture wasps. If you have ever come across fallen apples on the ground and have seen wasps swarming them (a seemingly common occurrence in Iowa), now you know why!

However, homemade traps are even less effective than commercial products and might catch a few small bugs at best. Commercial wasp traps are typically baited with protein powders or liquid lures and equipped with sticky surfaces to prevent the wasps from flying away. Even so, these are not an effective solution for an entire wasp infestation on your property.

Trust the Guarantee of Professional Wasp Control in Des Moines

There’s no question that the best wasp repellent is professional help. At Preferred Pest Control, finding wasp control in Des Moines that you can trust has never been easier. Our technicians know where to look and what type of sites wasps usually like to inhabit. After identifying wasps and their nests on your property, our team will safely and effectively eliminate them. When you’re a part of Preferred Pest's quarterly service plan, we’ll perform thorough checks during our routine maintenance visits, remove any wasps nests when necessary and even come out to check your house between visits if there’s a concern!

Our technicians take great pride in protecting our customers from unwanted insects. We are dedicated to eliminating infestations on your property and taking the necessary steps to avoid future infestations. Our overall treatment process for wasps varies slightly depending on which species we’re dealing with:

  • First, we ensure the insects inside a nest cannot harm our technicians. Once we know our team is safe, we will eliminate the nest with aerosol spray..
  • We will then use a dust insecticide to prevent future infestations. This insecticide will keep wasps from returning for the rest of the year.
  • After treating the nest, our team will remove it from your property.

Contact Preferred Pest Control for the Best Commercial Pest Control in Des Moines

Avoid wasps this summer with help from the experts at Preferred Pest Control. While some wasp repellents have some effect on wasps in Iowa, the best repellent is provided by a professional. For decades our technicians have provided effective and lasting wasp control for homeowners and businesses in the Des Moines area. Call our office at (515) 415-5550 or schedule an appointment online for the best wasp repellent solutions.