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Thread: Velvet ants

  1. #1

    Velvet ants


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    Has anybody else had a problem this year with these wingless wasps? We've got an infestation of the orange variety going on and they're a tough beast to exterminate. Even individuals are hard to properly kill. In the past I've tried stomping on them or whacking them with shovels and they just scurry off. The first one I successfully killed had to be crushed underneath a sledgehammer on a hard surface.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Newark, Delaware
    Posts
    515
    Look dude,if they are in your house, call a professional and get them out, these are not flies, they were coloquially known as cow killers! Evidence towards the cow that died to give it its name is inconclusive, but still, this is serious venom that could be a traumatic brush with death for a child, or a serious pain for an adult... ASSUMING you have them in your HOUSE.If however, you are simply bashing sledgehammers down on little creatures because you can, than I will let you know that you are being callous, intentionally or unintentionally, with the feelings of those who like bugs...like me. Publicizing that, if my fear that you are smashing guiltless creatures is correct...was the equivalent, to me, of getting smacked in the face really hard, and I don't like getting smacked.
    However, if this is a misunderstanding on my part, forgive me. It could very well be, I have autism, I make social mistakes like santa clauses elves make toys and presents...but still, I fear....
    Here's to hoping this is just a great big mess up on my part....
    David

  3. #3
    So far they haven't managed to infiltrate the house, but they're all over in the yard and the garden and they're making it difficult to pick vegetables in peace. The local exterminator says he isn't equipped and recommended we handle the problem ourselves by finding the ground based nest and apply liberal amounts of wasp spray or a comparable solution. They're so far proving to be a menace that even the snakes won't eat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Newark, Delaware
    Posts
    515
    Ok, that is so good to hear. I did not mean to come off as caring more about insects than people... You sound like a nice dude with a real problem, so I did some research, and I have come to the very strong conclusion that you NEED and I mean NEED to get an exterminator that has the equipment, no offense to your exterminator...these things can be lethal to the allergic from what I read, and are extraordinarily painful to everyone else who contacts them with bare flesh...an infestation sounds like it is only a matter of time before you step on one and end up screaming bloody murder on the ground for about a half, to a full hour. And that was the first hand account of an entomologist USED to painful stings! So, whether you go my route and play it cool, or decide to duke it out without protection against the tiny little buggers...tread wisely and carefully...and don't get stung...again, I would be far more upset if YOU were killed, than if a comparatively worthless bug was squashed. Stop at orange, play it safe and cautious, no matter what way you go...
    Peace.
    David

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The Garden State
    Posts
    739
    Never heard of them before but they sure seem scary enough.

    http://www.pestproducts.com/velvet_ants.htm

  6. #6
    As of yet I haven't been able to determine my allergic status with regard to wasp and bee stings. My mother is allergic and has been stung a number of times, meanwhile I've only been stung once, but a baking soda paste has worked well for us at avoiding any allergic reactions or complications. Since the first sighting she's adopted leather gardening boots and I wear my work boots almost all the time.

    We're not underestimating them by any chance, just explaining that we're working within the confines of our situation. And also wondering if anybody else is having the same trouble with them that we are. And I'd really like to know how they just shrug off a shovel strike because that's just plain freaky.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Aridzona
    Posts
    17,323
    Interesting. I never heard of these critters. From what I read, they are very difficult to eliminate. Apparently, they do not have a nest. Therefore, they are hard to wipe out.

    http://www.bugs.com/bugs_database/ot...velvet-ant.asp

    "The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle."
    “There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man's lawful prey.”

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Newark, Delaware
    Posts
    515
    Wasps, unlike bees, are solitary creatures, so yes, that makes them difficult to root out. Also, for the trouble you have with killing them, I am not surprised...insects in all their diversity, can survive negative TWO HUNDRED DEGREES farenheit obscene amounts of radiation, they can tow up to 1,256 times their weight, they grew up to 12 feet long on land in prehistoric times, as a kingdom, they are incorrigible, incredible, disgusting little monsters. Fleas share this talent of surviving strikes of immense force... Peace
    David

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