Dirt dauber has a shiny body that ranges from blue to black. Generally, they have an average length of 1 to 1.5 inches. They also have slender abdomens. The most defining characteristic of this type of solitary wasp is that they build their nests from mud. Wasps will attach their nests to vertical surfaces, which is why you will commonly find them on the exterior of buildings. Their nests will have an average width of .5 inch and length of 12 to 18 inches.
Dirt Dauber’s Habitat
Their habitat will be the nest that they create, which you can often see in building exteriors. They are common in the wild, such as in heaths, woodlands, and forests. At home and in the gardens, dirt daubers can also be present. They will build their nests in different parts of the house, such as porch, ceiling, attics, and garage.
Identifying Dirt Dauber’s Damage
Mud daubers do not eat plants. Their diet is solely consisting of spiders. Some species may eat other insects. With this, they are not too much of a problem in the garden. They can make unattractive nests, but beyond that, they do not do much harm. They can be a nuisance pest, but it is a good thing that they do no sting. Even if they do not sting, it will be harmless and painless.
The plants will not show signs of mud dauber. Instead, look in and around homes, especially in the walls. The most common symptom of the presence of dirt daubers would be having nests built out of mud.
Results of Infestation
As we have earlier mentioned, dirt dauber’s can be beneficial insects in the garden because they help in the biological control of pests. Nonetheless, in situations when they are the problem, they can be frustrating. Although it is unlikely that they will sting humans since they are not aggressive, the nests that they create will be unattractive. They can also cause staining on the exterior of your house, especially in areas that are made of aluminum, brick, and vinyl.
How to Get Rid of Dirt Daubers
Natural and Organic Solutions
Here are some of the best ways to prevent and control dirt daubers without having to resort to toxic solutions:
- Mud daubers eat spiders. If they have no food in the garden, it is more likely that they will not cause an infestation. With this, one thing that you can do is to get rid of spiders using an integrated approach to pest control. To get rid of spiders, take off all the spider webs that you can see.
- Destroy the nests of dirt daubers. If they have no nest, they will not have a place to live and they will find refuge in other places. Luckily, even if dirt daubers are disturbed, they will not be aggressive and they won’t bite. Using a metal tool with a flat edge, scrape their nest. Be careful so as not to peel the exterior paint.
- Trapping will also work to get rid of dirt daubers and other types of wasps. There are commercial traps that are available. This will kill them even before they can build their nests. For the highest level of effectiveness, make sure to position the traps in places where the wasp can easily see them.
There are chemical treatments that are available to get rid of dirt daubers. However, this is not a good method to eliminate the wasp. They contain toxic ingredients, and hence, they can harm even other beneficial insects in the garden. They can also be toxic even for humans. If you will use chemicals, pay attention to the application instruction and ask for professional assistance.
Among others, cypermethrin is one of the most common active ingredients in chemical treatments of dirt daubers. Some products with this ingredient include Cynoff EC, Fligene CI, and Demon EC. The synthetic ingredient in these products will cause acute and chronic toxicity.