Home-How » 10 Great Methods To Keep Mud Daubers Away

10 Great Methods To Keep Mud Daubers Away

Mud daubers aren’t especially dangerous, at least as far as wasps are concerned, however, they do have stingers that they can use on occasion. Fortunately, they are also solitaire insects that don’t live in huge nests full of flying armies of stinging insects.

So, how should you attempt to get rid of the mud daubers on your property, and how to keep mid daubers away? Here are 10 great methods to try.

Should you try to remove mud daubers from your property and why?

It’s difficult to call mud daubers “pests”. In fact, most organizations see them as beneficial insects as they both help pollinate flowers – just like bees – and they are also pest control insects in and of themselves by hunting a lot of nasty types of spiders such as the venomous black widow spider.

So, why do people call mud daubers pests and try to get rid of them? Well, there are good reasons and less good reasons to try to get rid of the mud daubers in and around your home.

Having allergies to the stings of bees and wasps is certainly a very understandable reason even though mud daubers are generally non-aggressive and tend to only sting when personally threatened.

Another common reason is that you just find the frequent buzzing around your home annoying. Or, that you don’t want there to be even the slightest risk of you or your child getting stung even if you don’t have allergies.

It’s also worth noting that there actually is more than one insect known as mud daubers. There are:

  • Metallic-blue mud daubers
  • Organ pipe mud daubers
  • Black and yellow mud daubers

All are known under the common name mud daubers even though they look different and come from two different families of wasps – Crabronidae and Sphecidae. They are also all more or less harmless as they don’t attack unless very strongly provoked.

In short, while mud daubers aren’t particularly dangerous and aren’t even considered pests by most definitions, wanting to get rid of them and/or just keep them at bay is certainly understandable. So, here’s how you want to go about this.

How to keep mud daubers away?

As with most other insects, getting rid of mud daubers and then keeping them away is a multi-step process. Fortunately, here it’s much easier and safer than with many other species of insects and wasps in particular.

1. Remove their food source

The first basic step when preventing further mud dauber infestations is to remove the flying insects’ incentives to come to your property. First and foremost, this means dealing with all spiders and spider webs you see in and around your home as those are a huge draw for mud daubers.

The next step is to make sure that you stop leaving any foods and food bi-products lying around, especially outside. Those can attract both the mud daubers themselves and their prey – other insects. After that, it’s best to look around for other insect infestations or colonies in or around your property as those can also be a pretty big draw for mud daubers.

2. Spray them when you see them

This can seem self-explanatory but, if you see mud daubers flying around or getting into their nests, you’ll want to grab a spray bottle of almost any potent insecticide and spray them. Obviously, it’s also advisable that you’re wearing at least some protective gear such as rubber gloves, long sleeves, and trousers, as well as eye protection, although those likely won’t be necessary – better safe than sorry.

Just make sure you’re dealing with actual mud daubers and not something more dangerous such as hornets or yellow jackets. Also, be sure that what you’re spraying isn’t just a bee as they are even more harmless and more beneficial to the environment than mud daubers. 

3. Remove mud daubers’ nests in and around your property

Remove mud daubers’ nests in and around your property

After killing whatever mud daubers you’ve found around your home, the next step is to deal with their mud nests and the eggs inside them.

Mud daubers nests can look like pipes, pipe organs, or thick cigars made of mud. Dauber nests are where the females lay their eggs, so, if you find the nests they will either have eggs in them or the larvae will have already hatched, fed, and gotten out. Either way, you’d want to remove the nest just to be safe as well as to prevent it from being used again.

To get rid of a mud dauber’s nest, we’d recommend first spraying it with insecticide from afar just in case there are wasps inside it. After that, once it’s safe, just knock it down with something and throw it away.

4. Reduce the clutter in and around your home

Mud dauber wasps may not care about the clutter in your home or yard but said clutter may make the spreading of other insects much easier. So, this step also helps reduce the food supply for mud daubers on your property, hence reducing their incentive to come to settle down.

5. Maintain your lawn and yard well to prevent the spread of any other types of insects

Same as above, frequently cutting down the grass in your lawn, removing loose debris, and maintaining the soil in a good condition will prevent the spread of various pests to near-zero, thus making your property close to unlivable for a mud dauber.

6. Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of your home to limit the potential nesting spaces for mud daubers

Mud daubers love placing their nests on secluded surfaces with plenty of notches, cracks, and openings on them – ideally something that’s protected from the elements as well as from birds’ and people’s sight.

This means that if you seal the various cracks and openings on your home’s walls and porches, you’ll make it much harder for mud daubers to build their nests there. What’s more, this is also a great thing to do against other pest infestations as well as for your home’s general insulation.

7. Use a preventative repellent insecticide to keep all bugs away – both mud daubers and their prey alike

Remove mud daubers’ nests in and around your property
Image Credit: NYTimes

Now that all the basic steps have been done, it’s time to employ some actual mud dauber repellent. We won’t advertise any specific product here, namely because new ones get invented basically on a weekly basis.

Suffice it to say that any effective wasp repellent and insecticide will be good against mud daubers as well. Just spray the area around your property according to the insecticide’s instructions and this should be of a lot of help for preventing future infestations.

Also, keep in mind that the more powerful insecticides out there can be quite harmful not only to mud daubers but also the various other beneficial insects, plants, and even animals. So, again, always use caution and follow the product’s instructions to the letter.

8. Use wasp traps

Wasp traps are seen as a cruel tool by some but there is no denying that they are effective. Especially if you place them around your home in the spring, there is a huge chance that you’ll catch the females before they’ve even had the chance to set up their nests and lay their eggs, thus solving the issue before it’s become a major problem.

9. Attract birds with bird feeders and bird baths to attract the mud daubers’ natural predators

If you don’t mind inviting the avian predators of mud daubers to your property, you can simply set up bird feeders and bird baths to attract some Starlings, orioles, blackbirds, and others to also feast on the mud daubers.

The potential drawback here is that, if you have crops and fruits on your property, the birds may start nibbling on those too.

10. Use natural repellents if you don’t want to use commercial heavy-duty insecticides

Essential oils such as peppermint oil, citronella, eucalyptus, and other herbs can also be used as mild mud dauber repellents if you don’t want to use something commercial.

These won’t be enough if you have a full-blown mud daubers infestation but they can be a decent enough preventative measure if you just want to repel these insects while not harming certain plants or animals in your yard.

In conclusion

Even though mud daubers can use their stingers from time to time, calling a professional for these insects is rarely needed. The only times you should worry is when the infestation has been left and allowed to grow way out of proportion but that rarely happens unless the house has been abandoned for a while.

In most other cases, however, when you’ve just seen the occasional mud dauber flying around your property and maybe a few small nests – a spray bottle of the right stuff together with some proper maintenance of the property going forward should be enough to deal with the issue.

Leave a Comment