Mud Dauber

Actual Size: 1”

Characteristics: Yellow or black; very thin waist. Easily identified by their nest.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Builds nests using mud tubes, which are about 1″ long and placed side by side in areas such as porch ceilings, eaves, and sheds.


  • Unlikely to sting, despite their frightening appearance.
  • Paralyzes and collects spiders to feed their young.
  • Builds solitary nests rather than living with colonies.

Mud Daubers in the Pacific Northwest

Mud daubers are solitary insects, and they get their name from the unique finger-shaped nests that they make from mud. Besides their distinctive nest, mud daubers can be recognized by their thin, thread-like waist that separates their abdomen and thorax. These insects typically live alone rather than in colonies, and they are common throughout the United States. Though mud daubers are not aggressive, they may sting if their nest is directly threatened.

Mud Dauber Habitat

Mud daubers are known for building cylindrical nests that resemble an organ pipe. These unique nests are made from short mud tubes that are placed next to each other, and they are typically built in shaded areas such as porch ceilings, barns, and sheds. Female mud daubers are responsible for constructing the nest, which they will eventually use to house their eggs. The females will also paralyze and collect spiders to place inside of the mud chambers with their eggs, which will be eaten by the larval mud daubers once they hatch. Round holes on the outside of the nest may be a hint that the wasps have already hatched and left the nest, leaving the structure empty.

Mud Dauber Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Mud daubers are not aggressive, and they very rarely sting humans. On the off-chance that somebody with a bee allergy is stung, it is important that they seek immediate medical attention. Mud daubers can be beneficial for reducing spider populations, though they can still be a nuisance if they nest in or around your home. Though mud daubers are not hostile, it is always a good idea to call wasp control professionals if you find a nest on your property to ensure that it is extracted safely.