how to get rid of mud daubers in potted plants

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    I have a non aggressive wasp living in the dirt of my household plants. I have been told that they are most likely mud daubers (black bodies shaped like a wasp).

    My plants are outside for the summer so I’m not having an issue with them right now but I do know that when I bring them inside it will be a problem. They are established (they were there last year but I hadn’t realized that they were in my plants vs getting in from outside.) Prior to taking the plants out this spring I had a lot of them flying around my house.

    I can see a bunch of holes in some of the plants but I don’t see many of them around.

    What can I use that wont kill my plants? They seam to like my Christmas cactus’s the most. I thought of re-potting them but I’m afraid it will make them really mad if they are in the dirt. Thanks!

    In fact none of the products we’d recommend for treating potted plants would affect the plant themselves. Here’s why. The term “pesticide” includes a wide range of products which are sub-categorized into groups that target specific types of life. Some of these categories are “insecticides”, “herbicides”, “fungicides”, etc. Insecticides target insects; herbicides target plants and so on. So in general most insecticides will not harm or injure plant life; they’re designed to only target insects. To directly affect a plant, you’d need to use a herbicide. But like any good “medicine”, there can be a “side affect” that could injure non target life.

    As you know, side affects from medicines can sometimes be dangerous. Well, plants too can sometimes be adversely affected by the emulsifier or some other component of the concentrate which could affect the plants growth or cause it to burn should you spray the plant leaves. For this reason some insecticides will say “not for use on plants or other vegetation”. And yet other formulations will be created with the sole intent of focusing their use on plants so they’re made with the plants safety in mind. And these are the products I’d recommend (and in fact use myself).

    It just so happens I too keep lots of potted plants around my home. Invariably they’ll get wasps or ants living in them (others too but these are the most popular insects my pots seem to attract). Once I learn they’re living in the pot, I mix up 1/2 oz of CYPERMETHRIN into my watering can (which holds a gallon of water) and simply water my plant. I don’t over water; just enough to get some water trickling into the water pan under the pot means you’ve probably added enough. And within 2-3 days the problem is gone.

    Another “less toxic” option would be the organic concentrate known as MULTI PURPOSE INSECT KILLER. Use it the same way but instead add 5 oz per gallon of water. It won’t last nearly as long as the Cypermethrin (it’s only active for a few days compared to several weeks with the Cypermethrin) but it will ultimately get any wasp or ant living in the pot.

    Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

    Cypermethrin:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/viper-cypermethrin

    Multi Purpose Insect Killer:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/organic/liquid/multi-purpose-insect-killer-24-oz

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