Subject: bug and nest material
Location: Rochester, New York
August 7, 2012 1:50 pm
Hi. I keep getting bugs of some kind nesting between wood casement windows and the jambs…a teeny tight space. Sometimes I find clumps of dry grass, other times little dried mud tubes(maybe a different species). I’m amazed they can squeeze in there and can’t figure out what the attraction is. They aren’t damaging the wood, but messy when I open a window that’s been closed for months, and the stuff falls into the room. In today’s cleaning I found actual bugs (a brighter green than the photo shows). Thank you!
The insects in your photo did not make this nest. They are what appear to be Tree Crickets and they are the prey of the nest maker, a Grass Carrying Wasp in the genus Isodontia. According to BugGuide: “Larvae are fed Grillidae (particularly tree crickets) or other Orthoptera” and “These wasps commonly make their nest in the narrow track found above outer windows.” See BugGuide for additional information on the Grass Carrying Wasp. The mud nests you found were most likely the nests of Mud Dauber Wasps and they are generally provisioned with spiders to feed the larvae.
Wow…thanks, Daniel! That was a fast response and very comprehensive. I really appreciate your taking the time to answer. There’s probably nothing I can do to keep the grass carrying wasps out of the narrow track above the windows, but at least I know what I’m up against.
Again, thanks very much,
Hi again Jim,
Neither Grass Carrying Wasps nor Mud Daubers are aggressive species and you should not fear getting stung.
Good to know, Daniel. Thanks. I’ll just let the little guys do their thing, and with all the other troubles I’ve had with these windows, at least the wasps are just using some convenient space and not harming the windows at all.