We discovered 9 Red Velvet ants in the garden this evening. We shot at then with 2 pellet rifles and a shotgun. After shooting at them for 20 minutes with pellet rifles we finally cut 1 Red Velvet ant in half where the body sections connected together. A shotgun blast blows dirt every where the ant goes flying 50 feet to the other side of the garden and walks away unhurt. I guess a shotgun pellet needs to make a direct hit on the ant body to kill it. We hit some ants with a 2 lb hammer it smashes them 4" into the soil and they are unhurt. We found several Red Velvet ants under a very large zucchini plant. Then we noticed Red Velvet ants in the Cantaloupe patch. While searching for ants in the cantaloupe patch we see a Japanese Wasp buzzing round in a certain area. That big 2" long wasp kept flying down under the cantaloupe leaves and disappearing. We moved leaves around where the Japanese wasp was and discovered the nest. Red Velvet ants are coming out of 2 holes. The 2 holes are about 2 feet apart, both holes go down into the soil at a 45 degrees angle opposite directions of each other so there must be 2 nest. All the soil the ants have brought up look like Kitty Litter or Oil Dry. It looks like any smaller ant hill only much larger. We managed to kill 1 Red Velvet ant the rest have all vanished somewhere in both melon patches. I poured 1/2 gallon of gasoline down the 2 holes not sure that will kill them.
I wonder what the connection is with the Red Velvet ants and the Japanese wasps?
About mid August last year I saw 7 red velvet ants in the driveway, I managed to kill 3 of them. For every 1 that I see I bet there are several more red velvet ants. If you see a hole in your garden or yard with what looks like kitty Litter all around it LOOK OUT for red velvet ants.
Click the photos they get much larger and the holes and kitty litter stuff is easier to see.
Do you see the hole top center at the edge of the Kitty litter stuff. Soil is dry here so it looks like a light tan color.
This is the other hole. There is a dead Japanese wasp left of the hole we shot it with a pellet rifle. Soil is wet here so it look darker like soil looks when it is wet top right hand corner of this pic.