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:

  • Known most for their unique nests built out of mud tubes
  • Best identified by their thread-like waist
  • Undergo a complete metamorphosis in their lifetime from egg to adult

Mud Daubers in Santa Fe and Albuquerque NM

Compared to other types of wasps, mud daubers are very unique. They are solitary and construct their nests (or brood chambers) out of mud. In the United States, there are many types of mud daubers. In addition to its unique nest, mud daubers are best identified by their unique body shape. They have a thin, thread-like waist that separates their abdomen and thorax. This is much different than many types of wasps. Lastly, mud daubers are not known to be nearly as aggressive as most wasps–they will only sting if they feel their nest is directly threatened.

Mud Dauber Habitat

Mud daubers eat spiders, meaning they tend to build their nests nearby spider populations. Female mud daubers create the unique nests, which look a lot like an organ pipe in shape. The nests consist of short mud tubes constructed side by side. They are often found in shaded, sheltered areas such as 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 wasps emerge and leave the nest, the nest often appears to have round holes on the outside. Still, it’s important to never approach a wasp nest, even when it appears to be inactive.

Mud Dauber Behavior & Threats

Mud daubers are not known to be aggressive, and they rarely defend their nest. 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. If a nest is found on your property, nest removal should always be handled by a professional wasp control company.