Mud daubers are from the family of wasps and are also known as Dirt daubers or dirt divers. They are called mud daubers because they build their dauber nests from mud. Mud dauber wasps are about 1 inch in length, have slender bodies, threaded waists, and are mostly solitary, i.e., they do not form social colonies.
They are omnivores as they feed on flower nectars, insects, spiders.
Sweet things usually serve as sources of food for birds like Starlings. They are usually black or blue metallic, with dark or transparent wings, and are commonly found in the United States. A wasp may look like a bee, but it is quite different from one.
This article will focus on how to get rid of mud daubers, especially as pests, and we will also look into how they can be used for pest control, among other things.
However, before we say anything else, let’s quickly acquaint you with the different types of daubers you will often find around at this time.
Types of daubers
There are various species of these insects. Each of them can be identified by how they build their nests, and the places the mud dauber nests are attached. They include:
- Black and yellow mud daubers from the Sphecidae wasp family:
Their nests are made of long, cylindrical tubes, smoothened to create a round-shaped nest. Black and yellow mud daubers usually build more than one nest plastered over the units to form more massive urn-shaped nests. This is due to the daubers laying an egg per nest. The nests are found attached to cracks, corners and crevices of porches and barns.
- Organ pipe mud daubers from the Crabronidae wasp family:
They make their nests elegantly from connecting cylindrical tubes that resemble pipes or flutes or pipe organs, hence its name. Organ pipe mud daubers attach their nests to bridges, caves, walls, cliffs, vertically and horizontally.
- Metallic-blue mud daubers from the Sphecidae wasp family:
Their nests are reconditioned and repurposed, abandoned nests of other daubers. They do this by applying water to the nest. These abandoned nests are usually found in corners, crevices and cracks of barns and porches. Metallic-blue mud daubers gather food such as brown and black widow spiders for their young ones and leave them in their nests.
Pest control and management of Mud daubers
Mud daubers are used for pest management and control as they help control bugs and spiders. They are used predominantly for pest control of the black widow spider, which is poisonous and dangerous. A mud dauber species is known for stinging targeted spider to leave for its young one to feed.
One of the misconceptions about mud daubers is that people often view them as pests since it belongs to the wasp family. However, the mud dauber is more of a pest control agent than a problem since it does not destroy things and only uses its stingers for its prey, spiders.
While you may not love to have them in your house for fear of being stung accidentally, you can leave them in your garden, as they help with pest management of your plants and flowers.
Daubers also help as pest control and a particular species known as cicada killer focus on killing cicadas that massively destroy plants in their larval and adult stages. Aside from pest control, the cicada is a food source, as the wasp drags it to its nest for its young one.
How do you keep mud daubers away?
A mud dauber is quite docile and would not harm you, except threatened, which is why it is rarely seen as a pest.
However, its buzzing and hovering around the things in your house can make it annoying. Nevertheless, you may want to eradicate it if you are worried about stinging.
If you have been wondering about how to eliminate mud daubers and stop them from coming back, here are your solutions:
- Get rid of their nests:
You can find a mud dauber nest in your barn, porch, near window sills and corners that have spiders nearby.
First, identify the nest to ensure it is for a mud wasp, so you do not get stung by more aggressive wasps like yellow jackets.
One effective way to eliminate the mud dauber wasps is to remove their nests. You can do this by spraying with wasp freeze or insecticides to avoid being attacked by any mud dauber in the nest. Break the nest, scrape it off with a paint scraper, and clean the site with water to remove residues.
You can also relocate the nest if you do not want to harm the mud dauber. However, it is best to do so at night when they are sleeping, and you should wear protective gear for safety measures.
2. Limit their source of food or best eradicate them:
Mud dauber wasps are attracted to spiders, insects, nectars of flowers and generally sweet things.
You can discourage them from nesting inside your home by killing spiders with repellents and not leaving aromatic stuff on the ground. Remove cobwebs as often as possible, leave corners airy and light, and spray your home with insecticides or other pest control agents that can kill spiders.
If you have flowers in your yard, you may need to leave the daubers outside, as they feed on nectars. Your best shot is to prevent and control them from entering your home by sealing all entrances available. They do not destroy flowers or plants, so you do not have a problem with them in your garden.
3. Invite preys that eat mud dauber wasps:
You can get rid of mud dauber pests by inviting birds like orioles, Starlings, and other blackbirds that eat them. These birds are attracted to mud daubers’ docile nature since they do not have to struggle to get them. The birds serve as pest control for a mud wasp considered as a pest.
Use bird feeders like seeds and bird baths to attract them to your home to feast on the mud daubers. However, ensure you are on the lookout for birds that may come to your yard to feast on your fruits and crops. Employ pest control for them or use repellent if you sight such prey.
4. Be season sensitive:
Mud daubers are very active during the summer season and are easily attracted by colorful and sweet things. They are attracted to yellow and orange colors, and if your home is decorated with such colors, you may have an infestation on your hands.
Check for any wasp nest in your yard, and destroy it. Avoid putting on clothes with bright yellow and orange colors. Never leave food or things which have a sweet scent around, as they flock around such places. Even your fruity perfume scent can attract them, so be careful during this period.
5.Build a fake nest:
Mud daubers are territorial and do not invade other mud daubers’ homes. You may use an already built fake mud dauber nest product like Bee Free Wasp Deterrent or make yourself.
You can make an artificial mud dauber nest with plastic bags, thread or strings and a paper lunch bag. Stash the lunch bag with the plastic bags, tie to porch railings, in bushes or under the eaves with thread or strings. They would think the place is occupied and venture elsewhere to find other suitable areas.
Trapping mud daubers is an effective way to eradicate them.
It is best to set traps early in spring to catch the queen, thereby reducing young ones’ potential population. You may buy a ready-made product or make yours.
You can use the glass jar trap at home to eradicate the daubers. Get a glass jar with a small opening by the side, pour in a sweetened liquid, like jam, the hang in a tree in your yard.
The sweet drink’s aroma will attract the daubers around and lure them into the jar, but they cannot slide up and leave. Here, you have succeeded in trapping the daubers. You can do this with a bucket of water, add some jam at the bottom and side of the bucket to attract the mud daubers, and you are good to go. Water keeps them immobile and makes them unable to slide back up once they go down.
How do I get rid of mud wasps naturally? （ Useful method）
Even though there are many ways to get rid of mud daubers, not all are natural and peaceful. For example, using insecticides can endanger your pets, plants and children.
Since mud daubers are known to be non-aggressive and nonthreatening, it is best to get rid of them naturally, without having to kill them or call in an exterminator.
However, You may need to call in an exterminator if there is a full-blown out of mud daubers infestation for your safety. Here are ways to get rid of mud daubers naturally:
- Peppermint oil: This is a natural remedy for getting rid of mud daubers as its strong scent keeps them away. Get a teaspoon of peppermint oil and dilute with water, then spray around the areas infested with daubers or areas that can be potentially infested with them. Mud daubers will stay away from wherever peppermint oil is poured. The oil also repels spiders, which will naturally discourage mud daubers since their food source will be limited.
- Citrus oil: This oil works like peppermint oil, as it helps get rid of wasps through its scent. It also acts as an insecticide and pest control as it can kill other bugs or insects in your home. Dilute a teaspoon of citrus oil with water and spray in your home and any area that may promote infestation.
- Vinegar: Vinegar also has a strong scent that repels mud daubers; hence, you can use it as a natural way of getting rid of them. In a cup of vinegar, add a cup of water, shake well, and spray around your home and environs. They can even kill the mud daubers if they come in contact with them.
- Dishwater: Dishwater is very effective against mud pests and should be used to get rid of them. Dishwater is easily accessible as all you need is to gather the water from washing your dishes and put in a spray bottle. Sprinkle on your porch and yard to keep dirt daubers away. You can also spray them on the daubers’ mud; this will loosen the wasps’ mud and allow you quickly clear them off. You can also add essential oil blends such as cloves, peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, geranium oil, etc., for a more potent effect. The blends scent serves as pest control for mud pests for a very long time.
- Paint part of your home with blue: There have been observations of little to no infestation of mud daubers in an area with blue paintings. Entomologists believe that the blue color resembles that of the sky and confuses, so they keep away. With this discovery, people are advised to paint their porches, barns, garage and other areas that mud daubers could potentially infest in that color. This is effective as pest control for any wasp infestation.
- Using pest control herbs: Aromatic herbs are good repellent for mud pests due to their strong scent. They make a good pest control remedy for bugs. You can plant herbs like eucalyptus, citronella, thyme and spearmint near your home or in your yard to keep any mud wasp away. If you cannot grow them, you can get dried, powdered herbs and sprinkle them around your home.
Do mud daubers sting or bite you?
Many people wonder if they could get bitten or stung by a mud dauber. Daubers and wasps, in general, are stingers and not biters. Mud daubers employ their stingers for capturing, stinging and paralyzing their prey, e.g., the spiders for feeding.
These wasps do not sting humans, except you accidentally roll on their stingers. They do not sting even to defend their nests, which is why they are known as very docile and nonthreatening. They tend to avoid all possible contacts with any other organisms except spiders and other insects they eat.
However, if they do sting you, it is out of self-defense, and it mildly hurts. The stinging is less painful than that of a bee sting. You may only feel worse if you are allergic to wasps, in which you should avoid handling them at all. If you choose to take them, ensure you have your allergy kit nearby for immediate emergency treatment if there is a need for one.
Are mud daubers aggressive?
Mud daubers are very different from hornets and other wasps’ species as they are not aggressive in the least. They would not even fight for their homes, let alone fight any other mud dauber. The wasps do not live in colonies; however, there may be more than one mud dauber nest in your yard.
They may put up a little fight if you threaten them aggressively, but they do not fight back if you handle them carefully. If you want to relocate a mud dauber nest to a new home, it is best to do so at night when they are asleep. When chased away from their nests, they do not attack the chaser or go back to the nest, except something keeps attracting them.
Instead, they would move on and create a new nest somewhere else. If you are concerned with daubers being aggressive, you should not worry as they are not.
As a result, you can go ahead with kicking them out if you do not want them in your house.
Dirt daubers are solitary wasps, which measure about 1 inch long, have slender bodies, clear or dark wings, and exist in various species.
A mud dauber is great for pest control as they feed on pests and other unwanted insects like the small insects that destroy plants and are also sources of food for birds.
They are usually active during warmer weather in the United States, especially near puddles or home gardens.
If you do not want them in your house and want to eradicate them, this article can help you out.