If you are seeing mud tubes in your Granite City, IL home don’t panic. It could be termite tubes however based on the general description of a “mud tube” it could also be a nest for the mud dauber wasp. When a mud tube is in a more organ pip shaped then it is created by the mud dauber wasp. However, if the tube is thinner and longer, it is created by termites.
The specific location of the tubes also can indicate if it is built by a mud dauber or a termite. Termites tend to build their tubes near ground level. This is different from the mud dauber who typically builds their nests on wood surfaces in shady protected areas. This can include under porch roofs, in sheds, and even up in attics. Different female mud daubers build nests in the same area in your home, so check those areas where you have previously found nests before.
How do The Wasps Build Those Nests?
A single female wasp creates a nest by collecting mud and mixing it with saliva. This then allows them to plaster the mud glob together to build a nest. Each tube has several chambers also known as brood cells. These allow the female wasps to collect spiders which she stuffs into those chambers. She uses the spiders for her larvae to feed on. She then lays an egg in each chamber and seals off the chambers. The entire nest usually contains several tubes attached directly side by side.
Mud daubers are among the most docile types of wasps. This means that they are not social wasps so usually nests are just built by a single pair. Mud daubers are also not aggressive, which means they don’t defend their nests. They are also rarely known to sting people, so that is something to keep in mind when looking at their nests. Besides rarely stinging they also rarely stay at their nest. Once they are finished constructing the tubes and sealing in their eggs, they move on. This entire process usually takes around a day or two.
Mud Dauber Nests Are Easily Removable
The holes that you see in the tubes are where the wasps emerged after fully completing development. Those tubes could have been there for a while, even as long as a couple of years. Tubes without holes can contain larvae or pupae, so keep that in mind when taking them down. You can easily scrape a mud tube off with a putty knife. We suggest not using water otherwise it will become mud again.
If you happen to come across a nest that still has larvae you will be able to see them along with the spider food on the open backside. If you notice a nest that is higher up, give us a call. We at IMEL Pest Control will send one of our professional exterminators to help take down the mud dauber nest for you!