Are you concerned about the sting of mud dauber wasps? Are your children feeling unsafe playing in the yard? Or you found some cylindrical shapes made of mud in your garage?
Scientifically known as Sceliphron, a mud dauber wasp is a group of various wasp species that share the same properties. The name comes from mud, but how is mud involved with a wasp? And why is the title warning about a mud dauber wasp string?
To begin with, let’s look into the wasp’s biology.
What is a Mud Dauber wasp?
Mud dauber wasps are species of insects (wasps) from either the family of Sphecidae or Crabronidae. They build their nests from mud to feed and grow their larvae. Moreover, the larvae spend the winter in the mud dauber nest and undergo complete metamorphosis. Hence, the four stages of mud daubers are egg, larva, pupae (cocoon), and adult.
Three species of mud dauber wasps from various family are:
- Black and yellow mud daubers,
- Organ pipe mud daubers, and
- Metallic-blue mud daubers.
The adults, both males, and females survive on flower nectar. And one more thing not to miss is that only the female mud dauber wasps has a sting at the rear end. So will it string you? Unfortunately, it can.
How do you recognize a Mud Dauber?
These insects are usually dark blue or black. They sometimes contain yellow coloring or a metallic appearance. The adult, both males and females, is about 1 inch long and consists of a long, narrow petiole that connects their thorax and abdomen. They are found in gardens collecting nectar, in moist soil collecting mud balls, and in garage or window sills where they construct shelter.
What do Mud Daubers feed?
The adult mud daubers feed on flower nectar. The diet menu for their larva consists of spiders. Once the female mud dauber nest is ready, the female mud dauber hunts spiders to provision these cells. They provision the cells with crab spiders, orb-weaver spiders, and jumping spiders for developing larvae.
The metallic blue mud daubers diet menu consists of black widow spiders. One notable thing is black widow spiders are dangerous to humans.
Once they find spiders, mud daubers grab and poison the spider. The venom does not kill the spider but paralyzes and preserves it.
The wasps then carry the prey into their mud dauber nest cell. There, they lay one egg on the spider and seal the nest cell with mud caps. Then they repeat these steps with more mud nests.
The wasps are very specific with the spider size. Instead of filing the nest cell with one or two big spiders, they fill the nests with multiple smaller size spiders. The larvae get out of the eggs and feed on these spiders to grow.
What is an organ pipe Mud Dauber?
The name, organ pipe mud dauber, comes from the specific mud nests that these species build. Unlike black and yellow mud daubers, they do not make a series of nests. They create one long cylindrical mud nest cell forming a long pipe organ-like structure. These mud dauber wasps prey on many species of orb weavers as the source of larval diet. They hunt their prey and carry it to the nest for the larvae.
Pipe organ mud dauber usually builds nests of mud on vertical or horizontal faces of walls, overhangs, cliffs, bridges, and shelter caves. All three species repair and reuse their old shelters year over year. Other insects and wasps also use their abandoned mud nests as shelter.
Where does black and yellow Mud dauber live?
Mud dauber wasps do not live in the mud nest as the nests feed and grow the offspring. Black and yellow mud dauber wasps complete their nest, hunt prey, lay eggs on it, and fly away and never return until another season.
What time of the year do you see Mud Daubers?
In temperate regions like the United States, you will find them in spring and summer. However, in tropical areas, mud daubers are active year-round. Mud daubers can produce one or two generations per year.
What are the common areas to build nests?
Mud daubers are not social wasps. These solitary wasps do not live in colonies. However, one may find several female mud daubers using the same locations to build nests.
You may find mud dauber nests in and around your house, garage, and even aircrafts.
Female wasps collect mud balls and carry them to their nest location to complete the mud nest in layers. On the other hand, black-and-yellow mud daubers create cigar-shaped nests of mud attached to crevices, corners, and cracks. But both of them form many adjacent layers of nest cells.
The metallic blue mud daubers do not make a new nest. They use the abandoned nest cells of black and yellow mud daubers and recondition them with water.
Do Mud Daubers sting or bite you?
Like other solitary wasps, mud daubers do not fall into the aggressive category. The purpose of the mud dauber venom is to paralyze their prey. Hence, the probability of biting human beings is not common. However, mud dauber wasps can sting human beings if threatened.
Are Mud Dauber wasps dangerous?
Mud daubers are not invasive. Their diet menu does not include human blood or skin, clothes or household items. So, they do not bring any threat to your property. Neither their nests destroy your walls or anything. However, a bite from the wasp can be a painful experience.
How bad is a Mud Dauber sting?
If you have mistakenly threatened a dauber, it may sting you to protect itself. And one more thing of concern is, mud daubers can give you many stings at the same time. It can even create allergic responses that require immediate medical support.
Sting of mud dauber wasps may cause you difficulty breathing, swelling of throat and tongue, dizziness, loss of consciousness and other skin reactions. It is a concerning reason to avoid mud dauber wasps around your home. Homes with children should take special care to prevent any such accident.
Should I kill Mud Daubers?
Killing mud daubers is not suggested. They are a crucial part of the ecosystem. Like other bees and wasps, these species also help in the vegetation of our food plants. It will be better to take preventive measures. They will take natural habitat instead of selecting your house or garage to make nests.
What threat do Mud daubers possess?
The foremost threat possessed by mud daubers is fear and insecurity. Protecting children from these wasps is more important. Generally, insecurity leads to mishandling of the wasp and it may lead to an accident.
What is the difference between a Wasp and a Mud Dauber?
Mud daubers are a few wasps from the larger wasp species groups. However, they are different from the general wasps in many aspects.
The main difference is in the size. Mud daubers are larger, but more slender than wasps. Additionally, these mud daubers are solitary insects, while many wasps are social and live in huge hives. Likewise, mud daubers do not defend their nest, whereas wasps aggressively defend their nest.
How do you get rid of Mud Wasp?
It is not a big task to get rid of wasps in house, such as mud daubers. If their nests are found in your home or garage, take away their nest manually. However, the problem lies underneath. Many times, they will return the next season to reuse the nests.
Also, mud daubers prey on spiders and other insects. Hence, the presence of mud daubers reflects an entire ecosystem of insects going in and around your home. It is when you should consult pest control service professionals to eradicate pests for a long duration of time.
Is Mud Dauber a pest?
Mud daubers are not pests as they do not damage your home. Specifically, they are considered a nuisance. But just like paper wasps, they complete their nest and leave their larvae to grow. There is no damage to your household, and you can remove the nest by yourself.
How to control Mud Daubers?
What attracts mud daubers to nest in your home is the presence of prey insects. Hence, a solution to control mud dauber wasps is to reduce their prey population. Another easy solution to prevent mud dauber wasps from revisiting your place is removing abandoned mud dauber nests.
Professional wasp exterminators, the pest control service experts take good care of wasps, their prey insects, spiders, and other pests. A life without pests and nuisance is a life with quality and relief. An all rights reserved company, A.N.T. PEST CONTROL NEW LENOX, provides a complete 360-degree pest and nuisance control solution to assure a worry-free lifestyle.