Mud Daubers

Trypoxylon politum

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What are Mud Daubers?

Mud dauber is a common name for a wasp that constructs its nest of mud. There are many species of wasps referred to as mud daubers, such as open pipe mud daubers, black-and-yellow mud daubers and blue mud daubers. Mud daubers are commonly found throughout the United States.

Pest Stats

  • Color: Usually black, may have pale markings or a metallic luster
  • Legs: 6
  • Shape: Long and slender with a thread-like waist
  • Size: 1/2 – 1+” (12-25+ mm)
  • Antennae: Yes

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What Do Mud Daubers Look Like?

Although their appearance varies, most adult mud daubers are about ½ to 1 inch long (12-25 mm). Mud daubers are usually black, but they may have pale markings or a blue metallic luster. The mud dauber has a “thread-waisted” body, meaning there is a long, slender segment between the thorax and abdomen. Mud daubers also possess clear or dark wings.

Signs of an Infestation

Finding a nest is the most common sign of a mud dauber infestation. If the nest has holes, it may indicate that the nest is inactive or old, as mud dauber wasps create holes when they leave the nest.

Mud Daubers Prevention

How to Get Rid of Mud Dauber Wasps

Looking to get rid of mud daubers? Although mud daubers are not typically dangerous, their old nests are often taken over by other more dangerous wasp species. Contact PMi for more information about Mud Dauber removal.

The most effective way to prevent a mud dauber infestation is to eliminate harborage sites by sealing cracks and holes in buildings. This will, in turn, reduce the prey population.

Do Mud Dauber Wasps Sting?

Mud daubers are not aggressive and are unlikely to sting. Still, care should be taken in the presence of an abandoned mud dauber nest, as other, more aggressive insects may take it over.

Habitat

Female mud daubers construct nests of mud. Many short mud tubes, usually about 1″ long, are constructed side by side. They usually build their nests in a sheltered site, such as under eaves, porch ceilings, in garages and sheds left open, in barns and attics, etc. Nests typically exhibit round holes in them as the wasps emerge. This means the nest is probably old and inactive after springtime.

Threats

Mud daubers do not defend their nests. In fact, mud dauber stings are rare. These insects are typically considered nuisance pests and are actually beneficial as they help control spiders.

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