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Old 07-08-2020, 12:42 AM   #1
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Fire and what caused it. You won't believe it.

If you store your RV or any Vehicle, even inside. This post is meant for you. On 5/25/20 I took my motorcycle out of our 30x60 fully insulated building that we store our motorhome and toys in. I checked all the fluids and tires before the first run of the year. I was just going to run her around the block a couple times before I said farewell to her and my days of riding. I had rode around the block twice and just passed the house when I thought I smelled someone burning trash. When I slowed down to turn the corner I seen flames in my right mirror. I was going to stop to try to do something but again when I slowed down flames came up again. So I did a U turn in the road and started back towards the house. Keeping my speed up kept the flames down. So I called my wife and told her to meet me behind our house with the garden hose because I was on fire!! So as soon as I got behind the house there she was hose in hand and started spraying down the fire while I got off.

Now For the cause of the fire. Mud Daubers had built a nest inside the exhaust pipe and caused it to overheat. You can see in the picture below one of the nest in the silver exhaust tip. That cover is made of thin aluminum and you can see it was hot enough to melt it. As you can see the Plastic guard on the side of the muffler also caught on fire. If I Had just stopped along the road the whole bike would have burned since all the side panels are plastic.

The reason I share this with you is, it's a good reason to check your Generator Muffler and your Gas refrigerator vents and Burner. These little devils can ruin your day, as they did mine.
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:04 AM   #2
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Wow, Who would have thought! Glad the damage wasn't terminal, Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-08-2020, 01:00 PM   #3
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Where in the US do these critters live? I've heard of them, but have never seen one. How long does it take for them to build a nest?
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Old 07-08-2020, 01:10 PM   #4
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Where in the US do these critters live? I've heard of them, but have never seen one. How long does it take for them to build a nest?
I'm not sure how far North they extend, but we have them thick here in KS, and I've seen them in Missouri and Oklahoma as well.
I don't know exactly how fast they can build a nest, but it doesn't take long, and they can be really good at hiding them too.

I have little screens on all of my appliance exhaust ports on our RV for this very reason. I also check the exhaust of our mowers and weed eater / chains saws regularly for them as well. They like the tight secure places to build their nest of mud.
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Old 07-08-2020, 02:18 PM   #5
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It was probably paper wasps or yellow jackets. They build their nest out of fibers from chewed woody vegetable matter mixed with their saliva. Paper wasps live in colonies with a "queen" or "mother" and her offspring. Paper wasp lays an egg in the cell. Once the egg hatches the wasp stuffs a caterpillar into the cell for the larva to eat. The cell is left open until the larva is ready to pupate into a flying adult. The offspring will then continue to build onto the nest and feed the queen and her larvae. All offspring are sterile.

Mud daubers build their nests from mud gathered from puddles, river banks, ditch banks and lake shores. Mud daubers are solitary. A female will build a nest, catch spiders to lay an egg on then seal the 'cell', build a new cell onto the first to repeat the process. If the female puts 2 or more spiders in the cell the resulting young will be female. The young leave as soon as they can fly. Male mud daubers do not build nests. The nest is as hard as brick and almost as hard to break off the surface it is built on.

Both types of nest can become quite large, though paper wasp nest can be much larger. Both wasps build their nests in sheltered areas, under the eves of homes, inside out buildings, piles of lumber, vehicles which sit for periods of time.

Varieties of both types of wasps are found all around the world.
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:24 PM   #6
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A friend and his wife were driving their rv when smoke started coming from eng compartment. They stopped, popped the hood and with a fire extinguisher put the fire out. The cause was a mouse/rat nest. Damage cost $40,000.I now frequently ck under the hood
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:14 PM   #7
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Lol. Where’s the motorcycle. JK.

Glad to hear you are safe and we don’t have these buggers up here in Canada.

Great advice and warning!
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:27 PM   #8
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Mud daubers are all over the South and well characterized by Scrapper's post. Also, they look like black wasps, but do not sting, so far as I know.
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:36 PM   #9
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Mud daubers can be a real headache. I had one build a nest on the fan blade of the air conditioner condenser. That was just enough weight to really throw the fan out of balance and when I turned on the A/C the entire trailer started shaking badly. That was a WTF moment. It took me awhile to find the well-hidden nest.

As Scrapper mentioned, the nest is as hard as a brick so to get it off the fan blade I had to run water on it for a good 5 minutes to soften the outer portion enough to scrape it. I had to repeat the process 4 times to get it completely off.
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Old 07-09-2020, 05:01 PM   #10
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Ya they can be a pain for us in Virginia as well. Had one start to build a nest over the key switch to my tractor. Had to replace it.

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Old 07-09-2020, 05:15 PM   #11
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We had wasps trying to build a nest on the outside of our rig. We also had spiders nesting somewhere inside. Before we got around to killing the spiders, they made a meal out of the wasp eggs. The wasps abandoned the nest.
Think we'll keep the spiders.
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Old 07-09-2020, 05:42 PM   #12
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Nice Bergman! It would have been a shame to loose it. I don't think they may those anymore so it might be hard to replace.

We have "dirt daubers" who will even build a nest inside the ground hole for a 110v porch plug if I leave the cover flipped up a few days with no cord plugged in. Does not take them long. Same for the grills, I have to check them every so often.
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:02 PM   #13
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Good to know. Sorry you had to go through that to be able to share it, but it's something most wouldn't think of. Glad you're alright.
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:22 PM   #14
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Lol. Whereís the motorcycle. JK.

Glad to hear you are safe and we donít have these buggers up here in Canada.

Great advice and warning!
A lot of Big Bike people have had to Eat Crow after having encounters with Burgman 650s! Youroo!!
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:23 PM   #15
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A lot of Big Bike people have had to Eat Crow after having encounters with Burgman 650s! Youroo!!
Lol. I was only breaking chops.
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:00 PM   #16
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My Mud Dauber story has it building right on the edge of my air conditioner fan. It was right between the fan and the shaft, and just froze the whole unit up. Got it cleaned up and all is well.
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:36 PM   #17
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The other day I walked past the coach in my signature and thought I saw a robin fly out from the front passenger side wheel well. Sure enough she had built a nest up against the exhaust manifold/frame rail. I removed the nest and 5 eggs.

I can just imagine what would have happened if I had not seen it. A flaming Winnebago going down the interstate !
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:46 PM   #18
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Mud daubers are all over the South and well characterized by Scrapper's post. Also, they look like black wasps, but do not sting, so far as I know.
They are not aggressive but can sting.
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Old 07-10-2020, 08:17 AM   #19
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We had wasps trying to build a nest on the outside of our rig. We also had spiders nesting somewhere inside. Before we got around to killing the spiders, they made a meal out of the wasp eggs. The wasps abandoned the nest.
Think we'll keep the spiders.

I have about 250 hats hanging in the Garage, I would hate to guess how many of those hats have dauber nest inside of them !!!
I just love it when they fill a key sloot, or the ground on a receptacle !!!

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Old 07-13-2020, 08:45 PM   #20
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Thatís the reason I place a plastic bag over the opening on my motorcycle exhaust and place screening over all of the openings to my RV.
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