Mud Dauber

Actual Size: 1”

Characteristics: Yellow or black; very thin waist. Easily identified by their nest.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Construct nests out of mud. Tubes are about 1” long and constructed side by side under eaves, porch ceilings, and more.

Habits:

  • Mud daubers are not aggressive, but do have the capability of stinging repeatedly
  • Collect and store spiders to feed the larvae
  • Solitary wasps that do not defend their nest

Mud Daubers in Vermont

Mud daubers are different from other social wasps in a number of ways. They are darker in color and can even appear metallic at times. They are most known for their thin, thread-like waist that separates its thorax and abdomen. These wasps are solitary in nature and the females build unique nests out of mud. There are many species of mud daubers and they are commonly found throughout the United States. They are known for being not aggressive, and they rarely defend their nest. Mud daubers are most commonly seen in Vermont in the late spring and summer times, often nearby muddy areas or puddles.

Mud Dauber Nests or Hives

Mud daubers build their unique nests in sheltered areas away from the rain. The female mud daubers build cylindrical nests that look much like an organ pipe. These nests consist of short mud tubes constructed side by side, and are most often located in shaded areas like porch ceilings, under eaves, or in sheds and barns. The female mud dauber collects spiders, paralyzes them with her sting, and then places them inside mud chambers within the nest. She deposits an egg on top of one of the spiders in the chamber before sealing it off. The larval wasp hatches and feeds on the spiders provided, molting several times before pupating and transforming into an adult wasp. When nests appear to have round holes on the outside, this is an indication the wasps have emerged and the nest is inactive.

Mud Dauber Habits & Stings

Mud daubers do not defend their nests and are rarely aggressive. These wasps are beneficial insects as they reduce spider populations. Although mud daubers aren’t dangerous, they can still be a nuisance when they are nesting in or near your home. Nests can be found in your porches, on the sides of buildings, and even inside the motors of unused machinery. For that reason, it’s important to always contact a professional wasp removal expert for help with these wasps.