Red Velvet Ant

The red velvet ant, actually a wasp, is an external parasite of ground-nesting bees.
red-velvet-ant

red-velvet-ant

This insect was named for its looks, not for its place in the biological order of critters. The red velvet ant is a striking insect that's a misnomer: It's actually a wasp, not an ant. Dense orange-red hair covers the abdomen and thorax, and the females don't have wings.

Red velvet ants are a good thing to spot in the landscape if you're worried about yellow jackets. Red velvet ants prey on yellow jackets and other ground-nesting bees and wasps by burrowing into their nest, laying an egg in the bee cocoon. The egg hatches into a grub that feeds on the surrounding bee larvae. Red velvet ants also prey on bumblebees. Adult red velvet ants feed on nectar.

These critters aren't aggressive, but the female can deliver a painful sting when disturbed. Males don't sting. The females are occasionally seen in the summer months and are solitary and fairly reclusive. They'll usually quickly run away if they feel threatened.

Next Up

Millipedes

These slow-moving critters feed on decaying plant matter and can be found in dark, cozy places.

Golden Tortoise Beetle

This garden curiosity can change color under stress.

Kudzu Bugs

These international stowaways are causing problems in American gardens.

Wheel Bug

A member of the assassin-bug family, the wheel bug is a beneficial insect.

Cool Weather and Indoor Insects

Find out how to prevent infestation during the off season.

In Defense of Spiders

Learning to love the worldwide webs.

What Do Ladybugs Eat?

Keep pest problems in check with these adorable garden visitors.

Ordering Beneficial Bugs By Mail

Send insect pests packing with mail-order beneficial bugs.

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

These large beetles do their best work at night: feeding on wood-destroying fungi.

House Centipede

Harmless and even beneficial, this insect can point to other problems in the home.

On TV

Flip or Flop Atlanta

8:30am | 7:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

9:30am | 8:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

10:30am | 9:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Caribbean Life

1:30pm | 12:30c

Caribbean Life

2:30pm | 1:30c

Caribbean Life

3:30pm | 2:30c

Caribbean Life

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight
8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

One of a Kind

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

One of a Kind

2:30am | 1:30c
3am | 2c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.