Mud Dauber

Actual Size: 1”

Characteristics: Yellow or black in color with a very thin, needle-like waist. Most easily identified by their unique nests.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: True to their name, they construct tube-shape nests out of mud. Tubes are about 1″ long and built side-by-side in sheltered areas.


  • Females paralyze and collect spiders to feed their young.
  • These wasps are unlikely to sting, even when disturbed.
  • They do not live in colonies and are considered solitary wasps.

Mud Daubers in Memphis TN Metro Area

Mud daubers, true to their name, are solitary wasps that craft nests or brood chambers using mud. Numerous species of mud daubers can be found across the United States. Apart from their distinctive nests, one of the key identifying features of a mud dauber is its slender waist, resembling a thread-like structure that separates its abdomen from the thorax. This characteristic sets them apart from other types of wasps. Mud daubers are generally non-aggressive and seldom sting unless their nest is directly endangered.

Mud Dauber Habitat

Mud daubers have a unique nesting behavior where the female members of the colony construct their own dwellings. These cylindrical nests closely resemble organ pipes in shape. They consist of short mud tubes arranged side by side and are commonly found in shaded areas such as porch ceilings, under eaves, or within sheds and barns. The female mud dauber collects spiders, immobilizes them with her sting, and then places them inside mud chambers within the nest. She lays an egg on top of one of the spiders in the chamber before sealing it off. The larval wasp hatches and feeds on the provided spiders, undergoing multiple molts before eventually pupating and transforming into an adult wasp. When the nests display round openings on the exterior, it indicates that the wasps have emerged, and the nest is no longer active.

Mud Dauber Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Mud daubers are generally non-defensive and seldom exhibit aggression towards intruders near their nests. These wasps play a valuable role in the ecosystem by helping to control spider populations. While mud daubers are not considered dangerous, their presence near or within your home can still be bothersome and inconvenient. If a nest is found on your property, nest removal should always be handled by a professional wasp control company, as any wasp handling can be dangerous.