People often think of mud daubers as pest not because they are aggressive but because they build mud nests all over the place. However, ugly as those nests are they are how these wasps create the next generation. When it comes to the blue metallic mud dauber, you want to keep these beautiful ladies around. They – the females – are trophy hunters and they only hunt black widow spiders.
Black Widow Spiders and the Huntress
The relationship between these wasps and the black widow spiders that they hunt and eventually kill is very precise. The spider, as we know, is quite toxic, even to the wasp. However, that does not stop the blue metallic wasp from attacking the spider. She enters the web and tries to entice the spider to attack. When that happens, the wasp administers a paralyzing sting to the spider all while holding the spider at bay. That is why the mud daubers are built the way they are. Those long and lean abdomens must hit the exact spot 100 percent of the time or the spider will kill the wasps.
There is no room for error and these wasps are highly successful. They do not kill the black widow, the only paralyze it. She then flies the spider back to that mud structure, stuffs it inside, and lays her egg on it. When the egg hatches, the larva burrows into the spider and eats it from the inside out. Eventually, the spider dies, and an adult wasp emerges from the withered corps. Very much like that Movie Alien… a little sci-fi borrowed from nature.
Beautiful and Deadly, that is a good way to describe the blue metallic mud dauber wasps. Thankfully, these wasps are not aggressive towards people. You have to pretty much go out of your way to get stung by one.
So, while their nests are unattractive, you have to weight that against the benefit that they provide.
If you have a pest control problem reach out to our professionals. We offer full pest control services throughout the greater Austin Area.