'Cow Killers' with powerful sting appearing in the Tri-State

'Cow Killers' with powerful sting appearing in the Tri-State
Posted at 1:36 PM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-17 05:17:31-04

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Greg Frommer was returning from work on Wednesday afternoon when he discovered an Eastern Velvet Ant walking across his driveway.

“I just happened to notice a glistening red/black bug crawling up the driveway and I’ve never seen a bug like that before,” Frommer said.

That red and black bug is nicknamed “Cow Killer” because of its 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,” Mt. Saint Joseph’s Gene Kristsky PhD said.

The Eastern Velvet Ant isn’t an ant at all, the “Cow Killer” is technically a wasp. The females are the only sex equipped with a stinger while the males are able to fly. Dr. Kritsky said the bugs will become more prevalent as the summer goes on.  

“The adults become more prevalent later in the summer,” Kritsky said. “This is about the time that my students and I start finding them and then we’ll see them more commonly towards the end of August.”

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