Velvet Cow Killer Ant Facts

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Many people know about the killer ant, but few are aware of the incredible facts about these little creatures. The velvet cow killer ant is a remarkable species of ant that is known for its impressive size and strength. These ants live in colonies that can contain up to a million members, and they are able to hunt and kill large animals with their powerful jaws.

What’s more, these insects are dreaded for their terrible sting, earning them the moniker “cow killer.” In this article, you will discover intriguing Velvet Cow Killer Ant Facts and Learn more about the velvet ant, often known as the cow killer wasp.

Let’s begin!

What is a Velvet Ant?

Velvet Ant of the Genus Traumatomutilla

Velvet ants are a type of parasitic wasp that can be found in North America. They get their name from their velvety appearance, which is due to the dense layer of hair on their bodies.

These ants are known for their powerful sting, which can be quite painful.

They are technically wasps, not ants, and they are often called “cow killers” because of their powerful sting.

Despite their fearsome name and appearance, they are actually very docile creatures and will only sting if provoked, and are generally not harmful to humans.

They are usually a very bright red but can also be yellow, orange, or white.

Male Red Velvet Ant

Male red velvet ants are different from female red velvet ants in both appearance and behavior.

These ants have a black head and thorax, while the females have a reddish head and thorax.

Males are also more aggressive than females and can be distinguished by their large mandibles.

These ants search for potential mates by flying close to the ground. They are distinguishable from females by their black and red coloring.

Female Red Velvet Ant and Their Reproduction

After mating, female red velvet ants will occupy a wasp or bee’s nest and lay their eggs there. The larvae that hatch from the eggs will then consume the brood of the wasps or bees.

This is how red velvet ants get their name- they are mistaken for small, red versions of fire ants.

Female red velvet ants are one of the few species of ant that can reproduce without a mate.

Once they reach adulthood, they will find a suitable place to lay their eggs- such as in an old beetle burrow or under a loose rock.

The eggs hatch relatively quickly, and newly hatched ants eat the larvae of their hosts for a period of one to two weeks.

Female red velvet ants are known for their reproductive habits. Once they hatch, they leave the nest and go out in search of a host.

They release chemical markers that disguise them as local wasps, and the host is usually none the wiser.

Why the name Cow Killer Red Velvet Ant?

velvet cow killer ant

The name “Cow Killer” is derived from the ants’ habit of stinging cows. The sting is only mildly toxic and will only be painful to cows.

The venomous sting of this ant can cause extreme pain and swelling.

Where Do Red Velvet Ants Come From?

Red velvet ants are native to the eastern and southern parts of the United States. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and gardens.

Red Velvet Ants are nomadic insects that don’t build nests. Instead, they travel constantly in search of food and new territory.

This habit makes them difficult to get rid of, as they can pop up almost anywhere.

These ants are interesting creatures in that they interact with others of their kind only when mating or by some other rare chance.

This is likely due to the fact that they are parasitoids, meaning their larvae eat the larvae of other insects.

Where Does the Red Velvet Ant Live?

The red velvet ant is found in grasslands and other open areas. They are most commonly found in the southern United States but can also be found in parts of Mexico and Central America.

To be more specific, this species of ant is often found in gardens. They are not known to infest homes as frequently as other types of ants, but they can be a nuisance when they do.

These ants live in warm, dry climates. They are mostly active during the day, but they seek shelter when the weather changes or there is a lot of rain.

How To Get Rid Of Red Velvet Ants?

Red velvet ants, also known as cow killer ants, are not like regular ants. They are actually more like wasps in that they have a stinger and can inflict a painful sting.

If you are having trouble getting rid of red velvet ants, it is important to know their habits and how to treat an infestation properly.

There are a few ways to get rid of red velvet ants. The most common is spraying them with insecticide, although this can be difficult if there are a lot of them. Another way is using a bait trap.

You can make your own bait trap by mixing sugar and borax together and putting it in a jar or container. The ants will eat the sugar, but the borax will kill them.

How To Prevent Red Velvet Ants From Invading Your House

If red velvet ants do invade your house, try to identify their entry spots and fix them. This will help keep them from coming back. Common entry points for red velvet ants are cracks in the foundation, doors, windows, and spaces near the roofline.

Red Velvet Ant Sting Symptoms | Red Velvet Ant Bite

Red velvet ants, also known as cow killer ants, are a type of ant that is known for its painful sting.

The venom from their sting can cause swelling, redness, and allergic reactions in humans. If you are stung by a red velvet ant, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

The venom of the red velvet ant can cause a number of complications, including breathing problems, low blood pressure, and anxiety.

Are Red Velvet Ants Dangerous?

Red velvet ants, or cow killer ants, are ant species that are not actually dangerous.

However, their sting is incredibly painful and can cause swelling and irritation. If you are ever stung by a red velvet ant, it is important to clean the area and apply ice.

Red Velvet Ant Bite Treatment

Black ants on the stump

If a red velvet ant bites you, it is important to clean the area as soon as possible.

Apply a topical solution of baking soda and water to the bite and let it sit for a few minutes. This will help neutralize the venom and reduce swelling and pain.

If the bite is on sensitive or broken skin, you may need to see a doctor for antibiotics.

Additionally, if you have an allergic reaction to the venom, seek medical attention immediately.

Other DIY solutions are –

Table salt

When red velvet ants are attacking you, the best way to get rid of the pain is to pour table salt on them. The salt will cause them to die, and the pain should disappear within 5 minutes.

Ice cube

Ice cubes can be used to relieve pain and swelling. This is because the ice cube will lower the temperature of the area, which will reduce inflammation.


Red velvet ants, also known as velvet cow killers, are a type of ant that is known for its painful sting. While they are not aggressive and will generally only sting humans if they feel threatened, it is important to avoid them if possible.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.