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.
- 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 adults are about ½ to 1 inch long (12-25 mm). They are usually black, but they may have pale markings or a blue metallic luster. They have a “thread-waisted” body, meaning there is a long, slender segment between the thorax and abdomen. They will also possess clear or dark wings.
Signs of an Infestation
Finding a nest is the most common sign of a infestation. If the nest has holes, it may indicate that the nest is inactive or old, as these wasps create holes when they leave the nest.
Mud Daubers Prevention
Mud Dauber Facts
Mud daubers are spider hunters. They use paralyzed spiders to provision their nests with food for their young. This makes mud daubers a beneficial insect because they reduce spider activity around the home. In fact, a species of mud dauber commonly referred to as the blue mud wasp is famous for preferentially hunting black widow spiders! Unless you have mud daubers creating nests in locations that are aesthetically displeasing, you may want to consider letting mud daubers live around your home.
Do They Sting?
Female mud daubers are capable of stinging, but they pose an extremely low sting risk. These wasps are solitary, so they don’t have the same aggressive instincts that social wasps possess. Basically, they keep to themselves and their mud nests. A person would need to grab or squeeze one to induce stinging behavior.
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.