Flying insects like mud daubers can make people anxious and fearful. Further, their tunnel-like nests can be an unwanted and unattractive addition to your home's appearance. If you have a problem with mud daubers building nests around your home, you might wonder if you have something attracting them. We researched and found several things that can draw mud daubers to your property.
Mud daubers, like most insects, have a built-in attraction instinct that helps them to fulfill their survival needs. If you have one or more of these things near your home, mud daubers will think your home is a suitable place to build a nest. Mud daubers are naturally attracted to the following:
- Spiders and insects
- Bright colors
- Sweet aromas
- Cracks and crevices
Keep reading to learn more about what attracts mud daubers and some ways that you can discourage mud daubers from coming around your property. We will also take a look at some benefits that might make you consider leaving the mud daubers around your home alone.
What Attracts Mud Daubers?
Several species of mud daubers are part of the wasp family, and all have natural programming for survival and reproduction.
Therefore, their instincts help them seek the resources needed to carry on their species. For this reason, mud daubers will seek out areas where they can easily find food, water, and the necessary materials to build their nests.
There is a reason that they are called mud daubers or mud wasps. The daubers collect the mud to build their tubular nests. The design is ideal for protecting young offspring from winter conditions. It is also suited for their solitary lifestyle.
The female also uses mud to seal her eggs into the nest with a supply of dead spiders that she works hard all spring to collect. The feast of arachnids supplies the offspring with plenty of nourishment while they progress through the larvae and pupae stages and are ready to emerge from the nest as adults.
So, if there is plenty of mud around your property, don't be surprised if you start seeing mud daubers building nests in undisturbed locations.
All living things need water to survive. Standing water may become a water source that can serve two important functions for the mud daubers.
Besides drinking, water is one of the main ingredients used to make mud which we previously established is essential to the life of mud daubers. If they can't find mud, they can make their own.
Spiders And Insects
Mud daubers eat insects and spiders, so if you have lots of these around your home, then you have a food source that will attract mud daubers. While adult mud daubers eat spiders, most of the prey is used to fill their nests with food for the next generation.
Spiderwebs make it easy for mud daubers to capture their prey. Therefore, keeping cobwebs torn down can help discourage mud daubers from coming near your dwellings since they like to build nests near their food source.
In addition to spiders and insects, mud daubers eat nectar from fruits and flowers. Sweet aromas make them think a food source is near, so they will come searching for food.
Since the males are pollinators, they follow sweet aromas to lead them to pollen and nectar for feeding, but in the process, they provide a pollination service to the native plants.
Bright colors are beautiful and often used to give you home visual appeal. Specific colors like orange, red and yellow are the same as the flowers and fruits that mud daubers love to feed on.
When these colors are detected, the mud daubers will come to investigate to see if a food source is present. Even if they don't find sweet food, if they happen to find any of the other attractants, they may be tempted to stay.
Cracks And Crevices
We know that location is key in real estate, and it is no different for mud daubers. Cracks and crevices make great locations for mud daubers to build their nests.
You will often find nests in corners, especially on or under porches or decks, underneath roof overhangs and eaves, and on exterior walls, especially those with a rough surface that makes it easy for the mud to stick.
If you have lots of nooks and crannies around your property, then you have unknowingly extended an invitation for mud daubers to build a nest.
If left undisturbed, their nests can become massive over time and leave quite a mess. Abandoned nests can also become homes for more aggressive wasps or other insects.
Should You Get Rid Of Mud Daubers?
Mud daubers might be a nuisance, but they aren't really aggressive and do not pose a threat to humans. They rarely even sting humans. Actually, there are a few ecosystem benefits to having them around. Below are some reasons to consider not exterminating the mud daubers around your property.
Mud daubers are one of nature's exterminators and are very useful around your home. They eat various bugs such as spiders, particularly black widows, so having them near can reduce the populations of other menacing and possibly dangerous pests.
Male mud daubers are also excellent pollinators which is a vital service, especially if you garden. Reducing or even eliminating mud daubers could adversely affect the blooms on your plants.
What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Mud Daubers?
If you are a DIY type, the easiest way to get rid of mud daubers is to tear down the nest and dispose of it or relocate it away from your home.
Since mud daubers aren't aggressive, you shouldn't get much resistance because they rarely defend their territory. However, remove the nest at night while the daubers are inactive as an extra precaution.
Another way to rid your property of mud daubers is to remove the attractants, mainly their food source or building materials. If these things are not readily available, the mud daubers will migrate to another area where they can find the necessary resources to survive.
You can also let nature do your work. Mud daubers are food for other creatures. Orioles and blackbirds feed on mud daubers, so having these bird types around will reduce your mud dauber population. Mud daubers are also prey for other kinds of wasps and insects.
Suppose you prefer to be hands-off during the removal process, or you have an infestation that you can't manage. In that case, it is probably best to contact an exterminator or pest control company to come out and handle the job.
What Smell Do Mud Daubers Hate?
Experts agree that mud daubers hate the smell of peppermint. So if you want to deter mud daubers from an area naturally, distribute a few drops of peppermint essential oil or mix the oil with water and spray in areas where the daubers congregate.
There is a double line of defense when using peppermint oil. Mud daubers don't like the smell, but neither do spiders, a significant food source for daubers.
Essential oils will diffuse their smell over time. Therefore, reapplication is necessary quite often. If you need peppermint oil, consider this top-rated product by Sun Essentials.
Flying insects can be scary for some, but mud daubers are nonaggressive and are really more of an annoyance than a danger. They leave behind a mess with their mud nests, but they are not without benefits one should consider before exterminating them.
For more information about how to keep insects away from your home, consider reading this guide: Do Venus Flytraps Eat Mosquitos, Flies, And Gnats? [Are They Good For Pest Control In And Around Your Home?]
Also, read Does Cedar Mulch Repel Bugs? How Effective Is It? for more information about natural pest control in your garden beds.