Summer is the season of flourishing plants and animals – and insects. Bugs run the gamut from minor annoyances to major pests, and it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between good bugs and their more malicious counterparts.
One insect that often suffers from a bad reputation is the mud dauber wasp. Although significantly less aggressive than other members of the wasp and hornet family, their penchant for building nests on the sides of man-made buildings – and chimneys – often bring mud daubers to the attention of both homeowners and chimney sweeps.
All about mud dauber wasps
Mud dauber wasps are solitary, rarely sting, and are known for eating other insects. Long and lean, these yellow and black wasps can be found throughout the United States. Mud dauber wasps get their name in part for their unique behavior around water. They are often seen around the edges of ponds and mud puddles collecting the mud needed to build their nests.
Mud dauber wasps are not known for being aggressive and rarely sting. They prey on spiders, collecting the insects and depositing them in their nests. The lack of aggressive behavior coupled with their ability to control spiders and insects make mud dauber wasps less of a nuisance than most other wasps and hornets.
Mud dauber wasps and chimneys
Mud dauber wasps prefer to build their unique nests on the sides of man-made structures. These rounded, tube-like nests are only home to one solitary mud dauber wasp. The females create the nests by carrying mud on their back before forming it into the easily recognizable nest shape. Mud dauber nests appear either individually or in rows. While rows of nests may look like the home of a swarm, it is all the work of one solitary wasp.
Mud dauber nests are often found on the outside of chimneys in the summer. While these little mud nests are not known for damaging the underlying masonry, they should still be removed with caution. There are several ways to remove mud dauber nests. The easiest method for nest removal is to simply hit it with a broom; the mud nest should easily fall away. If this does not work or the nest is not easily accessible, a metal scraper tool can be used to remove the nest.
Alos, caution should be taken to not damage the underlying masonry. While small amounts of water can help remove residue from the chimney it is not recommended to power wash the areas where nests are present; the pressure from power washers can significantly damage masonry.
Homeowners and those allergic to wasp, hornet, or bee stings should take caution when attempting to remove mud dauber nests. While they do not display aggressive tendencies – even when their homes are being removed – mud daubers do sting and can sting multiple times without dying.
Call Jack Pixley
If you see mud dauber wasps building a nest on your chimney or home this summer, don’t panic. These gentle insects control pests, and their nests can be easily removed. For more information on mud dauber wasps and how they can affect your chimney system, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today.