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Does anybody know what causes this?


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I think we'll just have to see what he comes back with. I'm not sure what's indigenous to AZ.

Daubers do build as you say, Kurt, but they begin with a single row. Later, if they feel like it, they will add another row adjacent to the previous one. Sometimes it's just the one row for a long time.

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Hi Gary,

That's true, but the daubers I see here encase pupae in those tubes and when the tubes get broken there's an organic shell left behind. That doesn't seem to be what I'm seeing here. It has the coloring and the texture of termite frass and the efflorescence around it says that there's some kind of moisture there, which subs would need. What's weird is that it's going on in Arizona. Perhaps this is a drywood termite infestation and that's what the frass from those looks like. Since we don't have drywood termites here, I haven't anything to go by.



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Sorry Guys - This was not a quiz. I do not know what causes this. Thanks for all your input. We do get wasps around here but I'm not sure about mud daubers (I have research to do). I do not think this is termite activity because most of these are between 4 and 8 feet high off of the ground. They are only in short sections about 2-8 inch's each. One nest was in a hole that was drilled into the brick. I scraped another off and did not see any damage or openings in the grout leading into the inner wall. The smell of the stuff is semi sweet and sandy texture. I have never seen this in my area before. The climate I live in is high desert. 17 inches of rain per year. Average winter temp 25 night-50 days and summer 55 night - 90 days. On average less than 15% humidity. Drywood termites are rare. Subs are also somewhat rare here (maybe 1 of 20 in the hills, 1 of 100 in the flatlands).

Still Stumped in AZ.

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Looked up mud daubers. Yes we do have them here but these do not look like their nests. Masonry bee, maybe. These nests are only on the mortar joints, could not find them anywhere else. I'll keep researching.



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Originally posted by inspecthistoric

Masonry bee.

Never heard of them in N. America, but they're a mild nuisance in the UK. They usually burrow pretty deep into the mortar though.

Who here thought I made that up?

Here in Oregon, we have a critter called a "mason bee." They're very common -- in fact our primary natural pollinator. They use existing holes though. I've never heard of one creating a nest on the surface like that.

My vote is for mud dauber.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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