Organ Pipe Wasp aka Mud Daubers

We have a flying creature in our neck of the woods that looks like a wasp. For a great photo of the bug look here. It’s called a mud dauber (I always call it a mud whomper; don’t ask me why.) How do I know we have them? They build pueblos of mud dwellings just about anywhere.

Look carefully at the left side of our front porch light. (Not the broken pane.)

Mud daubers are solitary wasps, they are not social and do not live in colonies. Females construct nests of mud divided into cells provisioned with several spiders which she has paralyzed with her venom.

A collection of mud tubes looks like Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookies.

Eventually this mass of tubes is about 3-4″ in diameter and is entirely plastered over with mud. The female then selects another site and starts over.  They’ve build a collossal condo on our (broken) porch light.

I’ll need a ladder to clean up this hard mud.

These wasps do not defend their nests, and only rarely sting so it’s not difficult to just knock the mud tubes down.

What are your bugs building?

Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

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