Australia's most dangerous creature isn't what you think it is

Truth about ’scary’ bathroom find

Spring in Australia can only mean one thing - bug season.

It's the time of year when you start to notice uninvited guests making themselves comfortable in your home, such as spiders, cockroaches and Christmas beetles.

But apart from the more obvious insects, there are others that can often leave people just as terrified.

One woman became so concerned about the strange-looking brown objects stuck to her bathroom tiles, she took to a popular Facebook group searching for answers.

A woman took to a popular Facebook group with more 200,000 members asking what she should do after spotting seven brown objects on her tiles. Picture: Facebook/MumsWhoClean
A woman took to a popular Facebook group with more 200,000 members asking what she should do after spotting seven brown objects on her tiles. Picture: Facebook/MumsWhoClean

"What should I do? These are on the bathroom wall," she asked members of the group Mums Who Clean, alongside an image.

It showed seven dark-coloured blobs stuck together on her white tiles.

Many were quick to comment, describing the find as "scary", telling the woman she should "run", "sell up" and just "move home".

Some people thought they were spider nests, however, most of the members who commented said the objects were mud wasp nests.

"Hate these bloody things although never had them inside," one person wrote.

Ecologist and University of Sydney professor Dieter Hochuli confirmed to news.com.au the brown blobs indeed belong to the mud-dauber wasp.

Professor Dieter Hochuli confirmed the woman’s image was of mud wasp nests. Picture: iStock
Professor Dieter Hochuli confirmed the woman’s image was of mud wasp nests. Picture: iStock

Mud daubers belong to different families and are variable in appearance. While some appear to look a bit scary with their bright yellow and black colouring, Prof Hochuli said they are quite harmless and live largely solitary lives.

"They make a living by catching spiders where they paralyse and seal them in their muddy, clay nests," he said.

"They then lay eggs inside the nests and once born, their wasp babies will eat the dead spiders until they can chew their way out of the muddy nest as adults."

However, while they are non-aggressive, like all wasps, if they feel threatened, they will give a painful sting, which is why Prof Hochuli suggests only removing nests when the wasps are not active.

 

Another woman discovered the same nests in her gardening shoes. Picture: Facebook
Another woman discovered the same nests in her gardening shoes. Picture: Facebook

"You probably want to avoid spraying them," he said.

"They are not particularly dangerous to humans - spiders yes - but they do give a nasty sting and while they're active, they can be reasonably defensive.

"When wasps are not in or around their nests, you can physically remove them."

A member of the Facebook group who is also pest controller suggested to "scrape them off and bin them".

"No pest control services required," she said.

"Whenever dealing with wasps always do it at night when they are more dormant," another person added.

 

Mud wasps keep dead spiders in their nests for their babies to eat once they hatch. Picture: iStock
Mud wasps keep dead spiders in their nests for their babies to eat once they hatch. Picture: iStock

Prof Hochuli said as nature gets going this time of year, people begin to notice all sorts of insects, but as for the female mud wasp, they're coming out of winter hibernation and looking for spiders to catch.

He said they are commonly found in homes, but are very opportunistic and will try to live anywhere they can attach their mud nests and get spiders.

"You can find them all over Australia, from Victoria to Darwin and urban areas to woodland."

Originally published as Truth about 'scary' bathroom find



Electric summer: Lightning to strike across NSW

Premium Content Electric summer: Lightning to strike across NSW

NSW weather: Lightning and thunderstorm forecast for summer

JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! Coffs/Clarence is spoiled for choice

Premium Content JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! Coffs/Clarence is spoiled for choice

From slashing cane to peeling prawns, there’s something for everyone

Warnings come as heatwave expected to return

Premium Content Warnings come as heatwave expected to return

Authorities are asking people to prepare and take care as temps hit extreme...