• 72°

Darrell Blackwelder: Mud daubers build their nests in the summer

Mud dauber nest

If you live anywhere near water — a lake, pond, or creek — you’re probably going to have cylinders of mud pipes from mud daubers decorating the outside of your home. We’ve found them under the eaves of our house, under patio umbrellas — even in our car doors. Mud daubers, also known as dirt daubers or mud wasps, are frantically building nests during the summer season.

These are solitary, predatory wasps and like most wasps feed on nectar but also actively hunt small spiders, including black widows, for their young. As the nests are being built, females cram as many very small spiders as possible, up to a dozen victims, in each cell. The spiders found in the cells ironically are not dead, but are paralyzed from a sting as a ready food source for their young hatchlings. The wasps lay one egg per cell on these spiders and then carefully seal the mud pipes. There are often several pipes attached like condominiums for their brood.

Mud daubers look ferocious; however, they are not aggressive and rarely sting unlike paper wasps or yellow jackets. Only the female mud dauber has the ability to sting. Mud daubers have problems with other parasitic wasps as they often pirate captured spiders and offspring as food for their young.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu .

Comments

Education

‘Never in my wildest dreams’: Moore ready to take the helm of Salisbury High

News Main

Raising the Barr for Rowan golf

Local

Greenway expansion, traffic signal maintenance submitted for federal funding

Local

Salisbury VA says telehealth usage up 971%

Education

Shoutouts

Editorials

Editorial: Take precautions during Fourth of July gatherings

Columnists

Harrison Peel: Tillis owes voters real answers

News

Many offices closing Friday to observe July 4th

Local

Sheriff offers July 4th safety tips

Sports

Sports legends: Josh Reeves took coaching skills he picked up in Kannapolis to high school in Alabama

Columnists

Mitch Kokai: Put NC at front of line for recovery

Local

Faith resident won’t let COVID-19 infect patriotic spirit

Landis

Landis hires CPA firm to conduct 2019-20 audit during special called meeting

Letters

Letter: Brownlee raises questions about statue proceedings

Sports

Area Sports Briefs: Lyerly qualifies for match play

Coronavirus

41 recoveries reported as COVID-19 cases continue to rise by double digits

Crime

Registered sex offender found living close to school

Crime

Florida woman charged with identity theft, suspected of other crimes

Education

School board narrowly approves allowing students in for driver’s ed, other assessments

Education

New Sarum donates $9,050 to COVID-19 Relief Fund

Education

Longtime educator, Rowan Democrats vice chair plans school board run

Columnists

Steve Roberts: Trump risks best re-election argument with immigration agenda

Local

Two appointed to Historic Salisbury Foundation board of trustees during virtual annual meeting

Editorials

Editorial: Disliked option may be best for students returning in fall