Wasps (Mud Daubers)

What are mud daubers?

Mud daubers are a kind of digger wasp. Mud daubers are large wasps that build their nests out of mud. There are types of mud daubers that you are likely to see in New England: organ pipe mud daubers, black and yellow mud daubers and blue mud daubers. Mud daubers feed on pollen, honeydew, and spiders. Though they look frightening, they tend to be non-aggressive and do not sting unless threatened.

What do mud daubers look like?

Mud daubers are about 1-1.5” long. Organ pipe mud daubers are large, shiny, and entirely black. They get their name from their nests that look like an organ pipe. Black and yellow mud daubers are mostly black with small amounts of bright yellow, especially on their legs. They collect balls of mud and carry them to construct their nests. They feed on spiders. Blue mud daubers are shiny, bright blue and metallic looking. They hunt and kill black widow spiders. You can often spot blue mud daubers drinking from puddles. 

Are mud daubers dangerous?

Though they look frightening, mud daubers tend to be non-aggressive and do not sting unless threatened.

Where did the mud daubers come from?

Mud daubers come around in the early summer. Organ pipe mud daubers and black and yellow mud daubers tend to build their nests in eaves and overhangs of homes, where they are protected from the elements. Blue mud daubers use water to soften the nests of other mud daubers and then leave their eggs in these hijacked nests. 

What are the signs of a mud dauber infestation?

If a nest has multiple holes in it, it is likely that the nest is old and not active. Active nests will have mud daubers flying in and out of the nest. 

How do I get rid of mud daubers?

Mud daubers are beneficial insects. They are not aggressive, despite their appearance. They actually feed on pests that are harmful to your plants and home. Try to not eliminate them yourself, though. If you have concerns about a nest, call Debug and we’ll come out and help you identify the wasp and help you remove the nest, if needed. It’s a good idea to have old nests removed, as they can become a food source for pests that can harm your home. 

Can I do anything to prevent mud daubers?

To keep mud daubers away, seal any holes or cracks in your building. This eliminates a habitat for the preferred food source of mud daubers: spiders. 

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