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Mud Daubers are a group of solitary wasps that get their name from the habit of constructing their nests with mud. These wasps are native to the US and are prevalent in nearly all states. Although mud daubers do have a stinger, they are not aggressive and rarely sting unless you inadvertently come into contact them.
The mud dauber family includes over 30 subspecies, with the most common species identified by their coloration and distinctive nest architecture. Some of the mud wasp species living in the US include Pipe Organ Mud Dauber, the Black and Yellow Mud Dauber, and the Blue Mud Wasp.
Mud wasps will rarely cause any harm to human beings, but their mud nests attached to vertical or flat surfaces can deteriorate the quality of your physical structures. Mud daubers have unique features and characteristics that help differentiate them from the rest of the wasps.
Identifying Mud Daubers
The primary difference between mud daubers and other wasps is the mud nests constructed from scratch by the female daubers. These creatures are independent and don’t need a colony to build their nest. Additionally, size is another feature used to differentiate Mud Daubers from others wasps. They are medium to large compared to other wasps that are relatively smaller. Let’s look at other features that help identify mud daubers:
Color: Shiny black, metallic blue with yellow markings
Size: They measure roughly from ½ of an inch to 1 inch in length.
Bodily Features: Mud daubers are long and slender and have a very thin, thread-like waist. This is the petiole separating the thorax from the abdomen. They have six legs and antennae with 12 segments. They also come with dark or clear wings.
Habitat: Due to their profound architectural skills, mud daubers can build their nest on virtually any vertical or flat surface. Typically, they love building their nests on bridges, overhangs, cave entrances, front porches, garages, barns, and eaves of houses.
Diet: Mud wasps usually feed on flower nectar. However, something you may not know is that they also prey on spiders, especially the Black Widow. They paralyze the spiders and put them in their nests.
Are Mud Daubers Dangerous?
Unlike social wasps, solitary wasps such as mud daubers are not aggressive and don’t defend their nests. The mud wasps are unlikely to sting even when threatened, but they might respond with a sting if you mishandle them. They boast a venom that can paralyze other insects; it does not affect humans unless they’re allergic. However, mud daubers can become a nuisance by bringing mud onto your home if there are quite a few of them on the property.
Preventing and Controlling Mud Daubers
The most effective means of preventing mud daubers is to eliminate harborage. Seal cracks and crevices on the walls, prune low-hanging trees and shrubs and remove all woodpiles and rocks.
However, if you’re dealing with a full-blown infestation, you’ll need to contact a professional pest control company like Domain Pest Control. They have the skill and experience to deal with mud daubers and help reduce the number of wasps you’re seeing around your yard and home.