Wacky Pest Wednesday: Cow Killers

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Happy Wednesday to all you Tri-County Pest Control fans out there, and welcome to our latest edition of Wacky Pest Wednesday!  Keep on reading on as we delve into a pest that has certainly earned its name: the cow killer.

Cow killers (also known as ‘velvet ants’) are a type of ground wasp that you will most likely see this summer.  They are fairly large for an insect and sport a bright red coat on the exterior. However, what makes this pest really dangerous is its extremely painful sting, which is so painful, it is rumored that it can kill a cow.

Now, we haven’t seen any literature on a cow killer killing an actual cow, but we have come across a video of someone being stung by the pest.  Click here to see just how painful this sting can be (warning, it’s not pretty).

Despite this, the cow killer is not called the “human killer” for good reason.  Unless you are allergic, there is virtually no chance of a cow killer sting becoming fatal.  Yet, it is certainly no fun to be stung by one of these pests, so do your due diligence this summer and wear shoes when exploring wooded areas to avoid being stung.  Combine that with long pants and some DEET bug repellent, and you have a solid combat package against the cow killer.

Did you know that these critters have an incredibly strong exoskeleton?  Their exoskeleton is just like armor, and can even give entomologists some trouble when they try to pierce it with steel pins to hang up the wasp on display.  This rough outer layer allows the cow killer to easily bash into the nests of other critters for an easy meal, but makes it difficult for you to squash it with your bare feet (which is why wearing shoes is of importance!).

For our next edition of Wacky Pest Wednesday, be sure to check back to our blog this time next week!

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