- Education and Science
Video: Mud Dauber Wasps Build Nests With Mud in My Back Yard
Mud Daubers at My House
In the summer months of Northern California, we see a lot of wasps around our house. They build their nests under places that offer protection from the elements. I normally see their nests under the roof's eves and under the stair rails. These little insects are not to be messed with because they pack a powerful punch with their stinger.
Recently, my husband discovered some mud dauber wasps collecting mud for their nest. He shot a video of these wasps at work. Then, he followed them to their nest and shot some footage of the wasps busy working at their nest. You will notice that the video is a little shaky. I guess you would be a little shaky too if you had a swarm of wasps buzzing around your face. To tell you the truth, I am amazed that my husband did not get stung, because I was told that wasps are notorious for inflicting harm upon anyone who comes near their nests. They not only sting once, such as with bees, but wasps have considerable stinging powers and are able to sting multiple times, inflicting as much pain on their victim as necessary to get them to leave the premises.
Mud Dauber Wasp Tube Entrance
What are Mud Dauber Wasps?
There are several different types of mud dauber wasps. However the wasps in my back yard are little narrow black wasps with yellow stripes across their body and when these wasps are at rest, they fold their wings lengthwise.
Mud dauber wasps make their nests of mud, in crevices of walls, in banks, in plant stems, and often in most inconvenient places, such as keyholes. These type of wasps are called keyhole wasps. Some wasps make a tubular entrance to their hole. The tube is composed of a series of little pellets of mud, which the wasp, with the help of its mouth secretions, sticks together until a sort of openwork tube of sometimes an inch long is formed. This curve is directed downwards, so that the wasp has to creep up it before reaching the actual orifice of the nest. It looks as if the first shower of rain would wash the whole structure away, and I have very little doubt that it often does just that. I find their structures quite interesting.
For food, mud dauber wasps sting and paralyze small spiders to bring them to their nest. Then the mud dauber wasp lays their egg on their prey and then uses mud to seal the prey inside the chamber. The chamber is a little round nest of mud which it suspends from a twig, or under an object which will allow the nest to hang with the chamber side exposed, giving easy access to the nest.
The video is of the mud daubers busy collecting mud from our back yard.