Mud Dauber Wasp
You’ll find mud daubers throughout much of North America, a solitary wasp species. They reach a maximum size of around 3/4 to 1 inch and come in various black variations, including dull black, iridescent black, and black with yellow patterns. Their long, slim waistline is a telltale sign. Insects known as mud daubers are often harmless, but their distinctive nests may be a real pain.
The abdomens of Mud Dauber wasps are long and thin, ranging in size from medium to enormous. Their nests are mud, hence their moniker. Nests of the Mud Dauber wasp are constructed of mud and affixed to horizontal or vertical surfaces in the shape of fingers. It is the wasps’ mandibles that shape the mud into individual cells. They frequently make their homes in artificial structures like barns and outbuildings.
Construction of a Nest Female mud daubers constructs clay and mud nests. Because mud dauber nests can take the form of either small, round pots or long, parallel tubes, they are also known as organ pipe wasps. Several cells are contained within each “pipe,” separated by mud walls. There are a few paralysed spiders and an egg in each cell. Shortly after the nest is sealed, the mother leaves without caring for her young.
Eggs and Larvae
The eggs of mud daubers hatch within a few days of being laid. Babies of mud-dwelling insects start devouring the spiders that have been paralysed in their enclosures. Time Magazine reports that mud dauber larvae have a completely sealed digestive system. Before they have eaten all of their stored food, they will not be able to defecate. The infant mud dauber will grow an anus, expel a waste sac, and eventually close off the area of the cell where the waste was stored after it has finished eating all its spider food. In the remaining compartment, the larvae spend the winter.
The mud dauber forms a pupa when it reaches maturity at about 3/4 of an inch in length. We provide this specialised container to safeguard it while it undergoes metamorphosis into an adult. In late spring or early summer, the adult mud dauber eats its way out of the mud cell. After emptying its waste into the cell, it flies off, searching for food and a partner among the flowers.
Various Other Factors
Although they can sting, mud daubers rarely show any sign of aggression towards people. They can help humans by lowering the number of harmful spiders in the area. Unless there is a special issue, homeowners should leave mud daubers and their nests alone.