Damn Mudd Daubers....

Saw this yesterday. Didn't take the wasps much time to build these nests.

This isn't an airplane that sits, either. I fly it freqently, and I keep it inside a very nice hangar (which honestly is nicer that some people's living rooms).

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My hangar is not quite "palatial," but it has always been plagued by mud dauber wasps.  I looked everywhere for a solution and never found anything that worked until one day a few years ago, I stumbled across "Rescue Wasp Trapstik": 

It sounded hokey ... the manufacturer claims the colors and fractal pattern attract mud wasps - and they do, it really works.  I'll hang a couple up above my plane in the Spring and by Fall they will be nearly completely covered in dead wasps stuck to its surface!

Now the bad news ... the old design did not have the plastic "bird cage" to keep birds from getting stuck to the trap.  This was fine for indoor use, but some people hang them outdoors and birds were getting stuck and dying on the traps.  Those traps could be had in quantities for  $6-$7 apiece.  Apparently in response to the bird problem, they've now come out with the new model with the plastic bird guard, and greatly increased the price! <$igh>  (They first came out at $16 but now they're down to less than $10 - can't believe the plastic bird guard costs more than few cents to make! ha!)

All that being said, they really, really work!



I had one of these buggers build a mud "block" in my fuel tank vent last summer. When I removed the full cap I heard a suction sound and the fuel tank flex. A piece of safety wire fixed the problem.

After that experience I wound a 8" piece of safety wire around my fuel sampler. At every pre-flight I unwind the wire, straighten it out and push it up the fuel vents and pitot tube. Then I wind it back around the fuel sampler. It takes almost no time to do this and its worth it to me for my piece of mind.

A month ago or so I found a mud dauber floating in the fuel tank. He must have crawled up the vent and then drowned.

A couple of years ago I started takeoff in my Stinson and aborted for no airspeed indication. This is a plane that flies a lot and lives in a pretty nice hangar. Yup -- a mud dauber clogged up the pitot tube. Not wanting to drive debris deeper into the pitot plumbing, I opened up the inspection area behind the leading edge and disconnected the pitot line from the tube and pushed the debris out from the back of the pitot tube with safety wire and then compressed air. There wasn't much stuff inside that tube but it certainly was enough to cause no airspeed indications. Once my mechanic reviewed my work and we closed up the plane, the test flight said everything was normal again.

I will be glad when I have a plane I can legally do my own unsupervised work on. The Experimental category is a wonderful thing to have available. I gotta get serious about building, but my life is so busy and the Stinson is so much fun to fly and the motorcycle is so much fun (and this is Bike Week in NH) and the hiking is so nice in NH this time of year and ......................

Luckily up here in Maine we don't usually have too much of an issue with insects plugging things up. Now the birds...when they get in the nesting mode, they can haul building material into various nooks and crannies real quick (overnight quick).  Though my plane is hangared I put it away with the pitot tube cover on, and the fuel cap vents (snorkel) covered with a small rubber cap.  The cap has a pin hole for venting.  The covers and caps are covered thru my preflight checklist and when I check fuel levels.

I had them plug fuel cap vents, pitot tubes and almost close off a radiator. Pesky buggers.


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