|A mud dauber "village" with a cell being built|
Credit: O. Destrades
I have spent quite a lot of time observing these wasps as they tend to their little "villages." We currently have one in the upper corner of our front door, and I've watched with great admiration as a single cocoon-like mud tube grew into three, then five, then eight. She finally stopped when she reached somewhere around the 12-mark. She would fly back and forth developing layer after earthen layer - I could even see the ripples in the walls of each little structure, evidence of each trip she made with fresh mud, like rings of a tree. I would see an open cavern, and could even make out the faint impression of spider legs within. Then later in the evening as I would come or go, I would see that the hole had been sealed, and she was now prepared to work on the next.
Mud Dauber wasps are not aggressive at all, and prefer to keep the peace rather than attack (unless clearly threatened). This is why I treat them as friendly neighbors for the duration of their stay at my doorway. And once all of the wasps have flown the nest, I will harvest what remains, crumble it into a fine powder, and store it away for use in future rootwork.
Mud dauber nests are often utilized for work focused on fidelity in love or commerce, such as attracting and keeping clients to a business, specifically because these wasps always return to the same place to build their mud villages. Even for practical purposes mud dauber nests come in handy: you can powder and carefully filter the mud from a dauber's nest and use it to help cure and prevent diaper rash in infants.
If you should like to harvest your own mud dauber nest, just remember to be mindful of ecology, and try to be sure that the wasps have abandoned it first.