The Peaceful Wasp
Mud daubers have several different names such as “dirt dauber,” “dirt digger,” “dirt dobber,” “dirt diver,” or “mud wasp” and are known to feed on spiders and help to control spider infestations.
Facts about Mud Daubers
Mud daubers are a type of wasp. Wasp is the general term, such as ant or bee that is used as an umbrella to cover a large array of stinging pests. Some specific names that fall under the category of wasp include yellow jackets, mud daubers, hornets, paper wasps, and pollen wasps. All wasps have general physical characteristics that they share with one another including exoskeletons that cover their head, thorax, and their long narrow bodies, two pairs of wings of different lengths, two antennae and a stinger that can be used multiple times. Types of mud daubers include the Pipe Organ Mud Dauber and the Black and Yellow Mud Dauber. Mud daubers are known for their unusually thin waists.
Mud daubers are not known to be aggressive and do not feel the need to protect their nests, and though all wasps have stingers it is rare for daubers to use theirs. Therefore, mud daubers are not a threat to people or a pest in that particular sense. If anything it is the unattractive sight of their nests on a person’s home that makes these insects a pest.
Social vs. Solitary Wasps
Wasps can be categorized into two types: solitary and social. These two categories help to distinguish between how the insects live and have offspring. Social wasps are made up of colonies much like ants where there is a queen that will build the beginnings of a nest and give birth to offspring that will stay and help to defend, raise new offspring, and continue to build the nest. Depending on the species some social wasps will build nests out of paper or wood pulp by mixing the wood with saliva to make combs with cells that can be used to house growing larvae. The location of prime areas to build a nest differentiates with the species. Other species may choose to excavate in the soil, in plant stems, or out of mud.
Mud daubers are characterized as solitary wasps. Solitary wasps, like their name indicates, do not live in nests with queens and their brothers and sisters. Instead, after a nest has been built by a female eggs are laid in a single cell which is covered up therefore these new wasps have zero interaction with the adult wasp. Mud daubers build their mud nests on the side of walls, under eaves, and on trees. These nests are identified by their multiple circular holes and cells that make up the structure of the nest. Mud daubers prey on spiders, particularly black widows, to feed their larvae. The daubers will collect the spiders after stinging them into submission and stuff several into a cell with an egg. Once that egg hatches the larvae will feed on the spiders to help it grow and then will spin a cocoon where it will stay until the following spring. As an adult, the dauber will feed on flower nectar.
Call CANTU at 972-201-9242 (Dallas, Fort Worth) or 713-999-3495 (Houston) and schedule an appointment today if Mud Daubers have made an unsightly appearance on your home.