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:

  • Adults feed on plant nectar, honeydew, and body fluids from the spiders they capture.
  • Known most for their unique nests, which look like organ pipes
  • Undergo a complete metamorphosis in their lifetime from egg to adult

Mud Daubers in Albuquerque NM

Mud daubers are solitary wasps that build their nests out of mud and other materials. These “brood chambers” are where female mud daubers lay their eggs. There are a number of mud dauber species throughout the nation, but there are several things that set them apart from other types of wasps. Besides the unique nest, mud daubers have a thread-like waist separating its abdomen and thorax, which is much different than other wasps. In addition, these wasps are almost never aggressive and will not sting unless their nest is directly threatened.

Mud Dauber Nests & Habitat

Female mud daubers are the ones that construct their unique nests. These cylindrical nests often look like an organ pipe: nests consist of short mud tubes constructed side by side. They are typically found in shaded and sheltered areas, including porch ceilings, under eaves, or inside 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. However, it is still unwise to approach a nest even if it appears empty.

Mud Dauber Behaviors & Stings

Mud daubers are unlikely to be aggressive. They do not defend their nests and will typically fly away if approached. Although mud daubers generally aren’t dangerous or destructive, they can become a nuisance if they choose to build a nest under your eaves, on your porch, under your patio covering or in a garage or shed on your property. They are actually beneficial as they help control spiders.

If you notice a lot of mud dauber activity in or near your property, it’s best to always contact your professional wasp control experts.