Mud Dauber Nest Removal, Sting Pain, Types and Traps

| August 27, 2017

Learn all about mud daubers nest removal, its types, and traps. Having a yard gives you an opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, and plants. That combination is also ideal for attracting a variety of insects and wildlife to your yard. When it comes to insects, the spring, summer, and early autumn is an especially busy time.

Mud daubers are extremely slender wasps with the tube-shaped waist. Usually totally black or metallic blue, though other species may have more bee-like coloration.

Since some species will reuse old nests, spiders or insect prey carcasses can become a food source for beetles that may contaminate fabrics or food. Scraping off the nest or using a strong stream of water from a garden hose works. In addition, anything done to seal harborage sites such as cracks and holes in buildings is helpful to reduce the prey population.

Mud daubers are wasps that use mud to construct their nests. Southeast Wisconsin has three types of mud daubers: the organ-pipe mud dauber, the black and yellow mud dauber and the blue mud dauber.

Mud Dauber nest Removal, Sting Pain, Types and Traps

These are not pests that you want hanging about, especially if you have children running around. The best way to get rid of them is to find the nest and destroy it, but if you can’t find it or if it’s not on your property, you can use traps to tempt them away from high-traffic areas to another part of the yard to kill them.

Mud Dauber Nest Removal

Mud daubers are some of the most beautiful and beneficial insects. The most common problem with mud daubers is their nests. These mud chambers are built practically anywhere and on any surface. Presence of human activity does not seem to bother the docile wasp and in the event that the nest is taken down by the human occupant or even moved such as is the case when a nest is built on any type of vehicle; the mud dauber seems unfazed and simply picks another spot.

When left alone, large and even multiple nests are constructed such as by the pipe organ dauber. Since mud daubers rarely sting or attack and they help control unwanted spiders and insects they are obviously beneficial. If one should inadvertently fly inside you may need to ultimately spray it if you can’t coax it out the door but otherwise, control methods are not necessary. The only nuisance of the dauber is the fact that they construct mud nests on undesirable surfaces.

Mud Dauber Types

Mud dauber wasps have thin, elongated black bodies and wings about the size of their body. They also have a somewhat bulbous stinger and large, arching hind legs. Most are black with bluish or grayish markings, but other sub species can be seen with yellow streaks along the legs and bodies.

  1. The organ pipe mud dauber
  2. The black and yellow mud dauber
  3. The metallic-blue mud dauber

Blue Mud dauber

The blue mud wasp, Chalybion californicum, occurs throughout North America, from southern Canada south to northern Mexico. Blue mud wasps are not known to be aggressive and will not usually sting unless provoked to do so. They are typically a solitary species using their stingers only to paralyze prey spiders and other insects they might encounter. These wasps are metallic blue, blue-green or blackish in color. Males 9mm to 13mm (3/8in.-1/2in.) are typically smaller than the females at 20mm to 23mm (3/4in.-7/8in.) Both the males and females share similar body structure in that their waists are short and narrow; both having slight body bristles. The antennae and legs are black for both male and female.

Orange pipe mud dauber

The mud tubes that look like part of a pipe organ were made by a wasp called, logically, the Organ Pipe/Pipe Organ Mud Dauber (Trypoxylon politum). There are about 30 species in the genus across North America (more elsewhere), but the OPMD is found mostly in the eastern U.S. At about an inch in length, the OPMD is the largest member of its genus, which is in the family Crabronidae. These smallish wasps are patent-leather black, with purplish wings and white “ankles” on their back legs. They are not aggressive males have no stingers, and you really have to manhandle a female to get her to the sting.

Black and Yellow mud dauber

Sceliphron cometarium is a black wasp with yellow markings and a very thin, long pedicel (the structure that connects the thorax and abdomen). Yellow markings vary among individuals but are likely to be found on the base of the antenna (the scape), the dorsal side of the thorax, the base of the abdomen where it meets the pedicel, and the legs. Females are larger than males, measuring 23 to 25 mm in length, while males are approximately 21 mm in length. Nests of Sceliphron cometarium can be recognized by their clustered, rectangular structure.

Mud Dauber Sting Pain Treatment

Mud dauber sting pain treatment depends on the severity of the reaction or symptoms. For less severe local reactions, a mild pain killer such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to make the victim more comfortable. Topical anesthetic creams will also help relieve the pain. Antihistamines are also very useful for a wasp sting because they help control the swelling, itch, and skin redness. Antihistamines and pain killers can be taken for several days until the symptoms decrease in intensity. Hydrocortisone creams or calamine lotion can also help reduce swelling and itch. Allergic individuals should carry epinephrine (adrenaline) injections for use should they get stung.

Mud Dauber Traps

Mud dauber traps can be of various types. Just like ants, wasps can be looking for two different types of food sources depending on the colony’s needs at the time: protein or sugar.

  • Jam dissolved in water (sweet enough to attract the wasps but diluted enough to drown them)
  • Fruit juice
  • Beer
  • Sweet Soda Pop
  • Wine
  • Maple syrup diluted with water
  • Molasses diluted with water

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