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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone recognize this nest?

    FYI, I called for pest control for a rodent problem and to check this area as well.
    No sign of damage to the structure. The debris pile is similar to what carpenter ants make, but I'd expect a lot of damage above a pile that size.
    What insect made these honeycombs? Some kind of mud dauber wasp?

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  2. #2
    john_opwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    HI John
    that's quite unique , i havn't seen them before . please let me if you find any information regading this. Thanks in advance.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    We usually see mud daubers in the attic, and they build smaller clusters, and never debris piles like that..


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    The 4th pic looks like carpenter ant frass but the honeycomb thing doesn't. Maybe you have a couple things going on?


  5. #5
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    The 4th pic looks like carpenter ant frass but the honeycomb thing doesn't. Maybe you have a couple things going on?
    Im with Mat... it looks like Carpenter ants or some other type of ant nest...

    did you find any body parts in the frass? thats one of the first things to look for in frass.

    Best

    Ron
    Santa Rosa California Home Inspection - Exterminating & Thermal Imaging


  6. #6
    Brian Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    I dont think it is anything but wet saw dust. Definitely not mud dauber wasp. The pictures show absolutely no signs of any pest/rodent activity. Would love to hear what a pest control person says about it.


  7. #7
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Johnson View Post
    I dont think it is anything but wet saw dust. Definitely not mud dauber wasp. The pictures show absolutely no signs of any pest/rodent activity. Would love to hear what a pest control person says about it.
    It looks like Carpenter ants.

    Best

    Ron
    Santa Rosa Pest Control - Inspection and Pest Control in Sonoma County
    Santa Rosa California Home Inspection - Exterminating & Thermal Imaging


  8. #8
    Steven Bynum's Avatar
    Steven Bynum Guest

    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    I am a licensed Pest Control Operator and did that for 15 years prior to getting into the home inspection biz...

    Looks like you might have a couple of problems going on. The pictures are not really high resolution, but it looks like a large mud dauber nest that has been abandoned and imhabited by carpenter ants. Carpenter ants typically infest old galleries made by other WDO's but not necessarily. If they were some other type of WDO they would likely have eaten a lot of the wood material around where you are finding frass, but not necessarily. If you would like, I could take a look at higher resolution puctures if you have them, but you did the right thing by calling for a pest inspection. They will be able to assess whatever condition it is.


  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    Don't see much in the pics but suspect its a drafty zone - opportunistic old spider webs catching falling frass, dust, and insulation bits.


  10. #10
    Scott Murdock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    FYI, I called for pest control for a rodent problem and to check this area as well.
    No sign of damage to the structure. The debris pile is similar to what carpenter ants make, but I'd expect a lot of damage above a pile that size.
    What insect made these honeycombs? Some kind of mud dauber wasp?
    Is that a spider in pic #2 on the right center next to the wire? Maybe its your culprit.


  11. #11

    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    Though it is difficult to discern from the photos, the debris appears to be the ruins of an old baldfaced hornet nest (Dolichovespula maculata) and a lot of sawdust. When an old baldfaced hornet nest disintegrates with age, it can leave behind a lot of cellulose debris. I have discovered a few very large nests of baldfaced hornets in crawl spaces in Oregon. Intact, some are larger than basketballs.

    http://www.vespa-crabro.de/baldfaced.../bfhornest.jpg shows an active aerial nest. Though such nests are usually constructed well above ground in trees, they can be found in and around houses and other structures.

    Of course this is just a guess based upon your photos, John. Based solely on the photos, a thorough examination for wood destroying organisms is indicated.


  12. #12
    Sean Wiens's Avatar
    Sean Wiens Guest

    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    I would say it is a Bumble Bee Nest originally. I get a lot of those (North Van BC). They salvage debris just like that (insulation chunks) and have that form of honeycombing. What it became after, I cannot say.


  13. #13

    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    Well, all good answers. But there is a spider behind the cable in the second picture. Can he/she be stuffing food into the old insulation?


  14. #14
    Cobra Cook's Avatar
    Cobra Cook Guest

    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    I do not believe carpenter ants are the problem. The pictures show no sign of wood being destroyed. With that much debris, certanly there would be wood damage, worse than termites. Does not look like recent use of what ever it is, but i will say one thing they are bad a** to eat fibraglass and make a nest out of it sorry i ain't doing no spell check today.


  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Johnson View Post
    I dont think it is anything but wet saw dust. Definitely not mud dauber wasp. The pictures show absolutely no signs of any pest/rodent activity. Would love to hear what a pest control person says about it.
    No it is not man-made sawdust, of that we are sure. And the rodent crap and piss was everywhere, just not in these pics.
    I was thinking one species but thanks Matt, Ron, Steven, Craig, et al, two species of insects, one huge ant colony possibly in the wall, with the frass falling down into the crawlspace, that makes perfect sense.
    Bumble bees will nest at ground level, I remember that now from a reno I did, only time one of them ever stung me, and it was in the backside too! Or wasps, it doesn't matter much, they're long gone.
    Yes there are a few spiders about. They're my little buddys.
    I believe now there is or was a large colony of ants here, just not accessible from where I was. Ron, I did not notice any bodies in the frass, but there are some tiny black specks in the pics. Should have tasted it I suppose.

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  16. #16
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Olsson View Post
    Though it is difficult to discern from the photos, the debris appears to be the ruins of an old baldfaced hornet nest (Dolichovespula maculata) and a lot of sawdust. When an old baldfaced hornet nest disintegrates with age, it can leave behind a lot of cellulose debris. I have discovered a few very large nests of baldfaced hornets in crawl spaces in Oregon. Intact, some are larger than basketballs.

    http://www.vespa-crabro.de/baldfaced.../bfhornest.jpg shows an active aerial nest. Though such nests are usually constructed well above ground in trees, they can be found in and around houses and other structures.

    Of course this is just a guess based upon your photos, John. Based solely on the photos, a thorough examination for wood destroying organisms is indicated.
    Thanks for the info Craig.... I see those a few times a year in crawl spaces around here (Oregon) and never knew for sure what they were (except that they weren't anything identified as wood destroying). They're kind of psychadelic (sp?) and creepy looking.


  17. #17
    Sean Wiens's Avatar
    Sean Wiens Guest

    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    [quote=John Kogel;117702]Bumble bees will nest at ground level, I remember that now from a reno I did, only time one of them ever stung me, and it was in the backside too!

    Just to be clear - bumble bees will nest anywhere convenient. I took three nests out from behind the insulation of a shed was building last summer before the walls were closed up. One was in the ceiling and the other 2 in the wall. They all looked very similar to your pics except not including the pile of frass.


  18. #18
    Barry Grubb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    I am a certified pest control operator as well. Just from looking at the photos, my first impression was mice. I have seen field mice move in and leave insulation looking like that. If there is an ammonia smell, that would also indicate mice. The third photo looks like carpenter ants. However, an inspection would be required to make a positive identification and to determine if the problem is old or active.


  19. #19
    Ken Bates's Avatar
    Ken Bates Guest

    Default Re: Anyone recognize this nest?

    All my chips go for mud daubers on the 2nd from left photo.


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