Mud Daubers Are No Threat—But They Can Be Messy!

February 14, 2021 5:01 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Finding black and yellow mud daubers on your Alaska property can be alarming. You might call pest control in a panic, thinking you have wasps living a little too close to home. Commonly called dirt daubers, black and yellow mud daubers look a lot like wasps. They’re about an inch long with a skinny, threadlike connector between the thorax and abdomen. Some mud daubers do have stingers, but they almost never use them. They tend to be a lot nicer than wasps.

The difference between a wasp and a mud dauber

Perhaps the biggest difference between a mud dauber and wasp is that yellow and black mud daubers are loners, while wasps live in colony nests. A wasp nest usually houses dozens of bad-tempered bugs, while a mud dauber nest is home to just one mild-mannered female insect. The black and yellow mud dauber builds its nests by collecting little balls of mud into a structure about the size of a fist. It’s the female mud daubers who build these nests, and they build them in order to lay their eggs. When a nest cell is finished, the female mud dauber lays an egg in it, and then supplies it with food.

Black and yellow mud dauber stings

Female mud daubers use their stingers to paralyze spiders, rather than hurt people. To supply their eggs with food, they hunt spiders, sting them and carry them back to their nests where they’ve laid their eggs. They then seal the eggs with the spiders so their offspring will have food when they’ve hatched. With humans, however, black and yellow mud daubers are almost never defensive or aggressive. The female is the only black and yellow mud dauber that has a stinger, and she only uses it to feed her young. Unless you manhandle a mud dauber female, you’re probably never going to get stung—and even if you do, they have a relatively mild sting compared to bees and wasps, which can be quite painful.

Messy mud dauber nests

While black and yellow mud daubers may be harmless, they do tend to get in the way. Mud dauber nests last all winter while the eggs mature and hatch, emerging from their mud homes as new adult mud daubers in the spring. They make their nests on all sorts of things in Alaska, from tools and equipment to outbuildings, garages and more. Looking at them may inspire you to call pest control in Alaska, but even mud dauber mothers aren’t territorial when it comes to their nests. No need to contact pest control for fear of a sting.

Call for pest control

That said, if mud dauber nests become a problem on your property, you may still want to call pest control. If you want to have mud daubers removed or have any other pest control concerns, contact Pied Piper Pest Control. Locally owned and operated, our highly trained experts have built a reputation for providing unparalleled service to the residents and businesses of Alaska for over 50 years. Reach out today to learn more!

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