En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 18, 2006

From: Seguin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Elimination of dirt dauber insects
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello - I live in the southeast part of Guadalupe Co. in the post oak savanna area. Do you have any suggestions on how to control dirt dauber dirt/mud nests. I know these critters are beneficial, but they build numerous nest under our front and back porch and adhere them to rock, wood, etc. Thanks!

ANSWER:

Hmmm—our focus and expertise is in native plants, not insects; but, I'll give your question a stab. You are right that dirt/mud daubers/dobbers are beneficial and they aren't aggressive like the social wasps that build the "paper" nests; but their nests can be a problem, especially if they build them inside machinery. The Iowa State University Department of Entomology says: "There is no proven method that is effective in discouraging wasps from building nests in sheltered or protected areas." About the best you can do is to remove the nests before the larvae hatch into adults, clean the area, and keep on doing this as the new nests appear. At least you will be reducing the adult population that can build new mud nests.
 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Discouraging rabbit snacking in the garden in Pearland TX
May 07, 2010 - I planted winecups and pink evening primrose in my new landscape beds amongst other native grasses and shrubs. Rabbits have been eating these wildflowers down to the ground. I want to attract wildli...
view the full question and answer

Cause of yellowing buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)
June 07, 2008 - We are getting large yellow areas in our buffalo grass lawn and think this is probably due to grub worms. Are grub worms the likely culprit and if so, what is the best way to get rid of them? We don...
view the full question and answer

Problems with mature Blue Agave in Kenya
December 09, 2012 - I have a mature Agave plant and there is a thin black liquid that looks like oil starting to appear on the leaves. The plant plant seems to be dying (from the bottom up). (The plant is a blue Agave an...
view the full question and answer

Trees failing to prosper from Denham Spring LA
December 23, 2013 - I live in Louisiana. Out of all of the native trees that we grow, there are two in particular that always struggle no matter what the conditions are in which they grow. The first one, sassafras, is ...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on new water oak turning brown from Matagorda TX
May 30, 2013 - We had water oaks planted in January when they had no leaves. Leaves came on but are now turning brown.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center