Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mud Daubers

We found something similar to the picture below on the back of the jogging stroller and the bike trailer:
When we peeled it off and broke it open, we found something inside I wish I had never seen! I hate spiders. And there were too many spiders. But these spiders were all dried up. They were grown up spiders, red, and shriveled. Looking something like this:

My toes curled at the sight and my whole body cringed thinking of what could possibly have created that fate for those spiders. I told Brent it would forever be a mystery because there was NO way I was researching that on the internet! Imagine the pictures I would find. Yuck! But as a twisted luck would have it, a friend knew what they were and filled me in.

Wasps. Specifically organ pipe mud daubers. They make the mud tunnels as nests for their larvae. Then they sting the spiders and cram them up the tunnels so that when the larvae hatch, they have a meal waiting for them. My toes are still curling thinking about all this awfulness that happened in our very own carport.

If this is any comfort, Wikipedia says, "Organ pipe mud daubers are also an exceedingly docile species of wasp, and generally pleasant to have around, as they serve to keep spider populations down. Stings to humans are very rare, bordering on non-existent, although if squeezed, they will sting in self-defense." Lovely.

Brent has decided against hugging them, even though we are grateful they keep the spider population under control.