Cautionary Tale

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    Ziabeam
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    Unbeknownst to MANY… a “mud-dauber affliction” has manifested itself  in airguns and firearms ranging from northern California, to southern New Mexico, to the Florida panhandle, as evidenced by our own family’s experience. I’ve heard little about this potentially catastrophic malady, and unless I’m mistaken…. it is highly under-reported, having never read or heard about it elsewhere (outside 1st hand accounts) !!!

    A dauber’s mud plug can wreak havoc on an airgun, and is often the “unknown-culprit” in a powder burner’s KABOOM. Mud daubers love tiny openings in wood, reeds, and…. barrels.

    Dauber’s nests contain their prey… in this case my Florida panhandle Ruger Charger .22LR pistol had a dauber’s plug filled with mosquito larvae, the plug once removed exposed it’s prey seen here on a piece of duct tape;

    A few short years ago my now 82 year old father had a trusty  HW30 he could not hit anything with… He asked me to try it out. Since he usually kept it loaded, before firing it I checked the bore… no daylight… and no apparent pellet near the breech. You guessed it !! That was in southern New Mexico. It required rebarrelling.

    My late uncle Joe had similar experiences in the Modoc National Forest of northern California… so this menace is far reaching.

    As a result this is how dad and I stow any gun not in a safe or cabinet;

    Seems to do the trick… since daubers are opportunists.

    You’ve been warned. :)

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    jlc
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    Since my guns are cased and in the basement, i haven’t had any issues with them, but they will get into any small areas, like barrels.  For me it is keeping my tractors and other equipment key (ignition) switches covered.  Make sure any electrical boxes are sealed around the wire entrance and the receptacles are the ones with caps.

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    Cheese
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    Kind of a love-hate relationship with mud daubers here in Georgia. They eat allot of spiders and flying-biting insects. But it really sucks when I have to clean out the receptacles in my garage, the air fittings on tools or popping the hood of my CJ to find numerous nest on the engine or on the fenders.

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    Nueces
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    They’ll get into and ruin an outboard boat motor.  Very hard to cover one tight enough to keep them out.

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    Wadcutter
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    When I first started reading your post I was geared up for a punch line, but I guess daubers potentially can cause some issues. We have loads of mud daubers here in Indiana, but they haven’t caused me too much heartache over the years. The occasional nests in the engine compartment.
    Normally I check for barrel blockage on a new to me gun. Its rare, but i did find a bullet lodged in the barrel of a .32 berretta one time.
    So now the daubers are trying to sabotage our air rifles.
    Those Dirty Daubs.

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    blackdiesel
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    “Cheese”Kind of a love-hate relationship with mud daubers here in Georgia. They eat allot of spiders and flying-biting insects. But it really sucks when I have to clean out the receptacles in my garage, the air fittings on tools or popping the hood of my CJ to find numerous nest on the engine or on the fenders.

    
Cheese where are you in GA?

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    Willie14228
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    I shoot Black Powder and all my BP guns get stored with a plug made from the thumb out of a rubber glove over the barrels
    Of course this is not a new idea and was given to me by my dad who served in Vietnam,
    They used condoms

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    Ziabeam
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    WadcutterWhen I first started reading your post I was geared up for a punch line, ….
    Those Dirty Daubs.


    Not yet… knock on wood. If dad’s HW30 had been a series of shots in a firearm… well, that might have borne the anticipated “punch line”

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    ClearedHot
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    Novel problem I certainly had never considerd or encountered with any gun to date, but I am aware they are a real issue for aviation.

    Hat tip: Wikipedia ( Just a few published incidents here. There are many more

    “Involvement in Florida Commuter Airlines accident[edit]
    On September 12, 1980, Florida Commuter Airlines flight 65 crashed en route to Freeport, Bahamas killing all 34 passengers and crew. The cause was determined to be due in part to a malfunctioning air speed indicator caused by mud dauber nests that were improperly cleared from the aircraft’s pitot tubes.

    Involvement in Birgenair Flight 301 accident[edit]
    On February 6, 1996, Birgenair Flight 301, a 757 jet flying from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. All 13 crew members and 176 passengers were killed. A key part of the accident was a blocked pitot tube, a component which measures outside air pressure through small tubes on the outside of the aircraft and displays this as the plane’s speed. Although the tubes were never recovered from the ocean floor, it was discovered that the plane had been sitting on the tarmac for almost 3 weeks with the pitot tubes not covered as they should have been. Investigators believe a black and yellow mud dauber got into the tube and built its cylindrical nest inside, causing faulty air speed readings that were a large part of the crash.

    Involvement in Gulfstream Incident[edit]
    On April 10, 2015, about 1845 eastern daylight time, a Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV, N450KK, was substantially damaged during a cabin over-pressurization event over the Caribbean Sea while en route to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FXE). An initial examination of the fuselage revealed that the outflow valve safety port, located on the outer fuselage, was completely plugged with a foreign material resembling dried dirt from a mud dauber.[4] “

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    Ziabeam
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    The occurence in Florida was attributed to a firearm on a shelf in my shop where daubers could frequent during the day, due to a roll-up bay door often left open for ventilation.

    In dad’s case (New Mexico) similarly the dauber was able to frequent his HW30 which he kept loaded right next to the entry door which was often propped open.

    In uncle Joe’s case (California) all it took was leaving a long gun on the porch during the day, or on his ATV handlebars during an extended camping trip.

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    Str8tshooter
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    A friend flew his Cessna 152 that he stores outside up to a airport near me, picked me up and we flew around the area I live, dropped me off, on his way back he switched fuel tanks and his engine stalled and he had to land in a farmers field, the 2nd fuel tanks vent was plugged from mud daubers.

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    Cheese
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    “Willie14228”I shoot Black Powder and all my BP guns get stored with a plug made from the thumb out of a rubber glove over the barrels
    Of course this is not a new idea and was given to me by my dad who served in Vietnam,
    They used condoms

    
Colbert, just East of Athens. Are you familiar with the area?

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    Cheese
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    “blackdiesel”

    “Cheese”Kind of a love-hate relationship with mud daubers here in Georgia. They eat allot of spiders and flying-biting insects. But it really sucks when I have to clean out the receptacles in my garage, the air fittings on tools or popping the hood of my CJ to find numerous nest on the engine or on the fenders.

    
Cheese where are you in GA?

    
Crap, quoted the wrong post.  I’m in Colbert

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    cernunnos
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    Mud daubers use the sky for orientation. They never go where they can’t see a patch of it. Seeing it through a window doesn’t cut it for them. Anywhere inside with no unobstructed sky visible is safe from them.

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    Ziabeam
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    cernunnosMud daubers use the sky for orientation. They never go where they can’t see a patch of it. Seeing it through a window doesn’t cut it for them. Anywhere inside with no unobstructed sky visible is safe from them.

    There’s a strain in Florida that ignored that memo, especially in our garage.

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    Dan25
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    I can add to the dauber hate.  During the warm months I have to constantly unplug carb, crank case etc. vent lines on my equipment.  On some I have had to install a bulb of window screen to keep them out.  Everything with a 1/8 to 1/2 inch hole must be kept covered.  They can stop up a line in half a day.

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    blackdiesel
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    “Cheese”

    “blackdiesel”

    “Cheese”Kind of a love-hate relationship with mud daubers here in Georgia. They eat allot of spiders and flying-biting insects. But it really sucks when I have to clean out the receptacles in my garage, the air fittings on tools or popping the hood of my CJ to find numerous nest on the engine or on the fenders.

    
Cheese where are you in GA?

    
Crap, quoted the wrong post.  I’m in Colbert

    
Ok.  A group of guys from GTA and AGN get together in Lithonia near Stone Mountain for fun shoots.  If you want to join us you are more than welcome.  It’s a great group of guys with many different guns to shoot.

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    Cheese
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    Sounds great, Lithonia is an easy ride for me. Have any dates or a website? Thanks man

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    blackdiesel
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    I will shoot you an IM.

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