Cow Killer Ant
Color: Red & Black
Size: 15 to 25mm
Scientific Name: Dasymutilla occidentalis
Commonly found in:
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming
Cow Killer Ant FAQs
What happens if you get bit by a cow killer ant?
Those red and black insects are nicknamed “Cow Killer” because of their powerful sting which can leave victims in excruciating pain for about 30 minutes. On the pain scale, these have one of the most intense, painful stings that are out there.
Why are they called cow killer ants?
The cow killer is the largest of the velvet ants in Kentucky, nearly an inch in length. It earned its name by the reputation of the female’s sting. It is said that the sting is so painful that it could kill a cow. The female is mostly red with some black, the male is half red and half black with dark wings.
Do cow killer ants bite or sting?
The velvet ant has multiple defensive strategies but is best known for its extremely painful sting (females only), earning it the nickname of “cow killer”, not because it can kill a cow but because the sting hurts so badly that it feels like it could kill a cow.
Where do cow killer ants live?
Cow killer ants, often called velvet ants, live in open, sunny areas like lawns, gardens, pastures, and non-shaded areas of forests. These red and black colored insects are wasps, not true ants, and they attack bumblebee hives and other insect nests to lay their eggs.