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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Attached hive-thing (I think!)



It or Them?
It or Them?  
I was changing out flower pots on my front porch and noticed this "thing" under my front porch window, which is securely attached to the outside wall.  I live in Northern California, about 50 miles east of San Francisco as the crow flies, along the California Delta waterway system in Contra Costa County.  I will try to attach 2 photos to give you a perspective.  Thanks!

Hello Mary,

You definitely have a mud dwelling. That hole is where the inhabitants go in and out. Do you see anything going in and out? It could be one of a number of insects.

If I were you, I would take care of it. Get some wasp/bee spray in case they are wasps. This is usually a very potent spray that can be sprayed from far away from the hive and will kill most insects. Raid makes a good one. Stand pretty far back and cover the dwelling in spray. Then wait a while and spray again. Try to stay far away in case they are wasps. When the dwelling has been thoroughly saturated and there are no longer any angry insects around, you can clean up the mud with water from a hose (again, try to do this from a distance).

It is possible that what is living inside are not wasps, but I think it is better to be safe than sorry. If you want to wait and observe for a few days before you spray, you may get a better idea of what is living inside. Let me know if you figure out what is living inside!


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jessica Mellinger


I can answer questions about invertebrates native to California, including insects commonly found in homes. If you have an identification request, please attach a photo to your question.


I was involved in collection and identification of invertebrates for the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division for six years. Also, I provided these same services intermittently for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment for many years. I have been a member of since 2009.

Department of the Interior: United States Geological Survey, Davis Field Station; University of California, Davis Aggie Alumni Association; UC Davis Center for Neuroscience; U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs

I have two B.A.'s from the University of California, Davis and two Associate's degrees from Sacramento City College.

Awards and Honors
Special Thanks for Achieving Results award from the Department of the Interior

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