In addition to the common social wasps there are many types of Solitary Wasps. Solitary wasps do not form colonies. Unlike social wasps that use their stingers only for defense or stinging, solitary wasps rely on their venom to hunt. The most common solitary wasps in our area are Mud Dauber Wasps.
Mud Daubers are often found during the summer months at muddy locations collecting mud for their nests. Mud daubers often build their nests of mud in or around homes, sheds, and barns and under open structures. Mud Daubers are long and thin with a thread like waist, around ½ to 1 inch in length. They can be black and yellow striped or blackish blue in color and have a stinger located at the end of their abdomen.
Mud Daubers prey on other insects. Mud Daubers build their nest out of mud, which can contain up to 25 eggs. Each cell of the mud nest contains an insect (usually spiders) plus one egg, and is sealed up with mud. After only a few days, the egg hatches. As a larva they will eat the insect put in the mud cell for food. They remain as a larva for about three weeks, and spin a cocoon in the cell. They usually remain in the cocoon over the winter and emerge in the spring from the cell as an adult wasp.
Other than their unsightly nests and size Mud Daubers are often not aggressive and stings are very uncommon.
If you are finding Mud Daubers in or around your home, Werner Pest & Odor Control offers services to prevent Mud Daubers from building their muddy nests on or with in your home.