- Colour They may be yellow and black, shiny black, or metallic blue
- Size Most are between 12mm and 25mm in length
- Notes While mud daubers vary in colour and appearance, most are long and slender with narrow, thread-like waists
How to identify Mud Daubers Wasps
Also called mud wasps or dirt daubers, mud daubers are solitary wasps named for the nests they build out of mud. Unlike other wasp species, these pests construct their homes out of dirt rather than wood fibres. They often build these structures on protected areas of houses and barns.
Signs of an infestation
Besides spotting adult wasps, the best sign of a mud dauber infestation is locating a nest. These light brown, mud-covered structures often seem to appear suddenly, as one cell takes less than an hour to build. An empty nest will have several deep, round holes, while an occupied one looks smooth and intact.
A mud dauber nest often identifies its species. For example, organ pipe mud daubers create rows of single-celled tubes that give the pests their name. Black and yellow mud daubers built rectangular nests that contain around 25 hidden cells for their larvae.
Mud Daubers Wasps Removal
Removal is safest after adult wasps emerge in the spring, as sealed nests still contain live pests. They might also be packed with paralyzed, half-eaten spiders, which can terrify and disgust homeowners when a brittle nest breaks open.
However, removing nests may not solve wasp problems. The conditions that attracted one mud dauber are likely to bring more. Even worse, more dangerous wasp species often move into the pests’ empty nests. Call your local Orkin Canada pest specialists for professional mud dauber prevention and removal.
Where We Inspect for Mud Dauber Nests
We look for the mud nests in areas protected from rain such as:
- Chimneys & Attics
- Walls of buildings
- Barn walls
- Light fixtures
- Under eaves
- Under eaves
- Under decks
- Inside garages
- Under porches
How to prevent Mud Daubers Wasps from invading
Wasp repellents can ward off mud daubers, though pests desperate to nest may simply ignore some chemical control measures. Pesticides can also be dangerous to untrained users.
Remember, these wasps are beneficial because they control spiders. Nests not located in an aggravating location should be left alone.
Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle
Mud daubers thrive throughout Canada. Depending on the species, the pests may live in underground nests, abandoned animal burrows, or on sheltered areas of buildings and vehicles.
Fully grown pests typically feed on nectar, but larvae need protein to develop. As a result, adults hunt spiders for their young, paralyzing them with venom. Mud daubers then drag prey back to the nest, lay a single egg on each one, and seal them inside the nest. When larvae hatch, they feed on the helpless spiders.
Mud daubers close their eggs inside warm mud nests to wait out the winter cold. Eggs develop into larvae and pupae before emerging as adults in spring.
Commonly Asked Questions
How worried should I be about Mud Daubers Wasps?
Although they are not aggressive and rarely sting, mud daubers build their unsightly nests in hard-to-reach locations, like siding, rafters, and eaves. Those constructed inside radiators, exhaust pipes, and other machinery may create costly damage. Stings can also provoke allergic reactions.
Other pests related to Mud Daubers
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