How To Keep Mud Daubers Away (5 Methods That Work)
Mud daubers are similar to wasps except that they build their nests in the mud. They vary in appearance, but most are around ½” to 1″ in length. Even though they are docile, their nest can cause damage to your home. It’s a good idea that you try your best to keep them away.
Use essential oils such as lavender and Teatree to repel spiders that attract mud daubers and keep them away. Put up bird feeders to attract predators that eat mud daubers such as orioles, bluebirds, and chickadees. Spray the perimeter of your house with peppermint or citrus spray to get rid of mud daubers.
In this article, you will learn how to encourage mud daubers to stay away from your home. Also, you will learn some necessary information about mud daubers so you can understand a bit more about them.
Basic Information About Mud Daubers
Mud daubers are found in North America. As adults, they feed on sap and nectar. The female dauber creates the nest to lay her eggs. The female constructs the nests with mud while the male wasp looks out for any predators. They are solitary insects, which means they do not live in colonies. So, just because you find or see a couple does not mean there is a slew of them.
Are Mud Daubers Beneficial?
Mud daubers do eat other insects. They play a crucial role in maintaining the spider population. So, they are beneficial to have around, especially if you do not like spiders.
A few types of spiders they like to feed on are:
- Black Widows
- Crab spiders
- Jumping spiders
These spiders are not only poisonous, but they can be detrimental to your vegetation. So, mud daubers are unbelievably valuable to your garden. This is why some people prefer to redirect them to the garden instead of fully repelling or killing them.
Methods To Keep Mud Daubers Away
Method 1: Repel Spiders
If you remove their food source, mud daubers more than likely want to leave—spiders like dark, damp environments. Cleaning up the outside of your home to minimize this type of environment will keep spiders at bay.
You can wipe away any cobwebs to keep spiders from making themselves comfortable around the outside of your house. Of course, you could also use chemical sprays. However, you need to take the necessary precautions and understand the risks of handling these products.
There are some natural ways to repel spiders. Some methods include the use of natural herbs and oils, such as:
- Tea tree
- And lavender
One drop of these oils will kill a spider. You could make up small sachets of herbs and tuck them around the home. You could also buy lavender plants to put around the house. Either way, this will ensure spiders stay away while giving the area around your home a pleasant fragrance.
Our article on how to get rid of hoverflies has a great recipe for creating your own repellant. This would work on mud daubers as well.
Method 2: Attract Birds That Eat Mud Daubers
Like orioles, bluebirds, and chickadees, some birds will feed on insects such as the mud dauber. They like their docile attitude, which makes them perfect for preying on. To encourage these birds to visit your yard, you could add a birdbath, outdoor fountain, or bird feeders.
The downside to this option is you may attract the wrong bird. Some birds eat fruit, and there are some that like wood. These birds can be detrimental to your yard if you have fruit trees or wood in the structure of your house. However, you could try attracting crows to help scare the mud daubers away. They have also been known to eat them as well.
Method 3: Painting Part Of The House Blue
The best option is to paint your porch ceiling a haint blue color. This color is a collection of blue-green shades. It was traditionally started in the southern part of the U.S. and was believed to keep ghosts from entering your home.
Over time the color lost its superstition, but the benefits of it could not be ignored. People noticed that the insects weren’t around as often. The theory behind that is that the haint blue color mimics the sky and confuses the insects.
Method 4: Avoid Brick And Stucco Surfaces
Mud daubers use mud and dirt to build their nests. These surfaces are perfect places to put their nest. So, if you are thinking of repurposing your home with these surfaces, you may want to think twice. If you moved into a house with brick and stucco surfaces, you need to inspect your home for mud dauber as well as bees nests routinely. You will need to remove any nests that you find.
Method 5: Peppermint Or Citrus Spray
If you are looking for an eco-friendly spray, you may want to use peppermint or citrus oil. To do this, you take a tablespoon of the oil and mix it with water into a spray bottle.
Peppermint will have a dual effect as it also repels spiders too. The peppermint is strong enough to clear the mud dauber from their nests. Although, the citrus oil will act more of an insecticide than a repellant.
Precautions To Take Regarding Mud Daubers
The recommendations listed above are natural solutions for mud daubers and should keep you out of harm’s way. However, if you find yourself using more aggressive measures, you need to take some necessary precautions.
Plan Removal Attempts At Night.
Nighttime is when the mud daubers are least active. If you plan your removal attempts at night, this will decrease the likelihood you get stung. Also, use dim lighting, as well as darker colors during your removal attempt. That way, you won’t attract them.
Do Not Crush A Mud Dauber
Make sure your plan does not include crushing a mud dauber. Smashing the insect will release a pheromone, which can attract other mud daubers nearby. Thus, making all your efforts null and void. Also, it would be best if you devised an escape plan beforehand. If anything were to go wrong, at least you have well thought out plan to get out of harm’s way.
What To Do If You Get Stung
First, wash the area. Using soap and water will help remove as much of the venom as possible. Also, if you have dandelions nearby, the dandelions will help extract the toxin from your skin if you run it on the affected area.
Next, apply a cold pack to the site to help reduce swelling and pain. Keep the area clean and dry to prevent any infection. If multiple stings occurred and the wound is bad enough, you may want to consider bandaging it.
If you have an allergy to wasps or bee stings, you need to seek medical attention right away. You could experience a severe allergic reaction, which could be fatal. If you are allergic to bees, we do not recommend you remove mud daubers on your own.
Are mud daubers aggressive?
No, mud daubers are generally not aggressive. They also don’t usually sting humans. However, that does not mean that they can’t or won’t.
Are mud daubers and wasps the same thing?
No, a mud dauber and wasp are not the same thing. Wasps tend to be thicker and more aggressive. Mud daubers are thinner and longer than wasps. However, they are from the same family.
Get Rid Of Them Early
The more mud daubers there are, the harder they are to get rid of. If you see a couple, chances are they won’t bother you. Although, if they have babies in nests nearby, the numbers will quickly grow. If you spot mud daubers and you want them gone, get rid of them quickly. That way, you won’t have to deal with it later. Also, to be sure to check for their nests and get rid of or relocate the babies as well.
Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.
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