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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/How to find velvet ants


Hi Jack

I'm back again with another odd question! I live in central Washington. Maybe once or twice a summer I encounter a velvet ant running around, but they're skittish little girls who rarely sit still long enough for photos. Could you give me any tips on how to target them so I can find them more frequently?


Wendy S


I'm sorry but I don't think I can be much help this time. Since velvet ants (a type of wingless wasp) are lone predators/nectar feeders you are not likely to encounter them very often. Because their sting can be extremely painful most folks are glad of this! They tend to occur in drier habitats/sandy soils so will be most common in arid and semi-arid areas. Some species are more active after dark or during twilight. Good luck, post any good pictures you get.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.


Ph.D. in Entomology

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