The mud dauber wasps, found throughout North America, are the least aggressive wasps. This wasp has a fierce appearance that gives it an intimidating air but is harmless and provides excellent spider control.
- Characteristics: ½ to 1 inch long, featuring black and yellow or metallic blue and black coloring. Most notable is the very slender waist.
- Nests: The mud daubers build small mud nests. Generally, they placed it in or under sheltered areas.
- Risk of Sting: While the mud dauber wasps sting repeatedly, this wasp is typically not aggressive.
Habitat and Nests
As their name implies, mud dauber wasps make nests by constructing mud tubes. Often, you’ll find their nests under eaves, on the sides of rough-surfaced buildings, or inside buildings on your property, such as garages or sheds. So if you’ve got mud nearby, you’ll likely have mud daubers.
Similarly, mud dauber wasps prey on spiders to feed their offspring. The female mud daubers inject the spiders with venom, which causes paralysis and allows them to safely handle the spider while moving it to a cell. Then, every cell with a spider and a single egg is sealed with mud. After completing the work, the female abandons her nest, and the larvae will emerge as adults in the spring.
Behaviors and Damage
Mud daubers wasps do not have colonies and are not aggressive about protecting their nests. In fact, they are solitary creatures, spending most of their time preparing nests and hunting prey for their young to eat. But, when their nest is destroyed, they’ll likely move on to build another one in a different location. Additionally, they reserve their stingers for hunting prey and sting only in self-defense situations.
Prevention and Control
Because mud daubers are typically harmless when you find a nest and it’s not in or near a high-traffic area or posing a threat to someone with an allergy, you should just leave it alone.
Accordingly, these nests are easy to remove if they become unsightly or you can’t bear to have the wasps around. However, it is important to note that other wasps may take over an abandoned nest, so it’s best to confirm you are dealing with mud dauber wasps before you do anything. But, if you need a wasp exterminator to help in identifying the type of wasp you have found, reach out to A.N.T. Pest Control for one of our specialists to investigate.