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Pest Control/Dirt Dauber Wasps

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Question
We have a front porch post that seems to attract dirt daubers.  We have sprayed it numerous times & it has even been repainted, but year after year they continue to collect in a lump on one side on the top of the post.  They do not make a nest there, though.  This is a huge nuisance for us & guests trying to use our front door.  What can we do to alleviate this problem?

Answer
Gayle,

I want to make sure we are talking about the same insects. Mud daubers (dirt daubers) are a type of wasp that builds nests made of mud that are usually attached to something like a post. The wasps usually have a very narrow "waist" between the thorax and abdomen (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mud_dauber). Is this the type of wasp you are seeing?

The "lump" is the wasp's nest, these wasps do not make the large papery nest like yellowjackets (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/yel_nest.html). Mud daubers are usually not very aggressive, certainly not as aggressive as yellowjackets. If you remove the mud nests from the post the wasps will likely move on. They may be attracted to this area by outdoor lighting which attracts other insects that are food for the mud daubers.

Jack DeAngelis

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.

Experience

I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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