Mud Dauber Wasp
Sphecidae or Crabronidae
Flying – Stinging
Most look like long and slender wasps of about 1 inch in length.
Bright yellow, orange and dark black colouring.
The female mud dauber hunts out spiders, paralyzing them and returning to the nest where she lays an egg on them and seals the entrance. Inside, the egg will hatch and the larvae will eat the food and pupate.
Mud dauber wasps live largely solitary lives and are normally not aggressive, but can become aggressive when threatened. Stings are uncommon.
Nests are made by female wasps and build from mud or clay. She will often attach it to a tree trunk or a building, wherever it finds shelter from the weather. Some species prefer hollows, just to be safe and may choose a dry pipe or any hollow gardening tools left around.
Tips for Control
Mud daubers are great to have around your garden, as they will control spider and bug numbers. They are not aggressive and will only sting if handled. So, as long as you give them some space and let them go about their business, they won’t bother you.
These wasps are good for your plants too. Adult mud dauber wasps feed on nectar and pollen from flowers and native plants. In doing so, they are great pollinators.
Think twice before calling the pest control people if you spot a wasp nest around your place. Do a bit of research first, as you may just find out that your new backyard buddy is actually a harmless native who is very helpful in the garden, like the mud dauber wasp.