How to Identify the Cow Killer Ant

How to Identify the Cow Killer Ant
••• Wikipedia Commons / Public Domain via Federal Government

The cow killer ant or eastern velvet ant is actually a wasp and not an ant. It is always referred to as an ant, however, and moves and looks like an ant as well. This aggressive stinger is called a cow killer because it hurts so bad when you are stung by it. The cow killer ant is capable of causing severe allergic reactions in humans. Being able to recognize this insect is important to your well being.

    Know that the cow killer ant is found primarily in the southeastern United States, though it is occasionally found in the north as well. The cow killer is found in woods, as well as grassy areas. They love flowers and can be found around flower beds.

    Notice that the cow killer ant is generally 1 inch long. They are actually about the size of most wasps. This makes the cow killer stand out in size if you are comparing it to most ants.

    Observe that the cow killer has a hairy appearance up close. Those hairs (setae) can be black, white, orange, red or shades of these colors. These colors make up a distinct pattern on the cow killer.

    Know that the cow killer lays eggs inside bees nests so that when the babies emerge, they can eat the other bee larvae.

    Watch the cow killer move about extremely quickly. The cow killer ant is lightening fast, and can sting just as quickly.

    Realize that the female cow killer is the one that can sting and is wingless. The males have wings and cannot sting.

    Warnings

    • Never attempt to handle a cow killer ant. If you are stung by a cow killer ant, seek medical attention.

Related Articles

Love Nature? Bring The Outdoors Inside with These Science...
How to Identify Hornets & Wasps in Tennessee
Difference Between Ants & Termites
How to Avoid the Creepy Crawlies of Summer
When Do Hornets Come Out?
What Do Queen Ants Look Like?
How To Tell The Difference Between Poisonous and Non-Poisonous...
How to Tell if a Bumble Bee Is Male or Female
How to Determine the Gender of Baby Deer
What Do Ants Eat?
Facts About the Spleen
Types of Spiders: Black With White Dots
How to Neutralize Bee and Wasp Stings
How to Find the Missing Side of a Right Triangle
How to ID a Tiny Bug in My House
How to Distinguish Between a Cow and a Bull Moose
What Part of the Plant Makes Seeds?
How to Identify the Arizona Bark Scorpion
How to Find a Carpenter Bee Nest
Types of Wasps