At a whopping 4.2% of its body weight, it makes ours at 2% seem tiny by comparison. Ants are attracted to sugar residue, so cleaning the feeder can keep them away. Although we have a wide variety of plants, we don't have a lot of flowers. Since chitin is slick and oily, regular adhesive tape has little effect on ants. I have two places that the hummingbirds know to look. I done this two months ago and no more ant problems since. Luckily they haven't discovered my feeders. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 22, 2016: Ants don't only spoil picnics, lol. To stop leakage, hang the devices in a less-than-breezy area and stow them away in rough conditions. Let us know if you’ve had successful results with this method and we’ll share your story on the Pest Control Gurus website! If the unit is leaking, can you return it to the place you purchased it from? 1. There is a sticky tape (used on tree's for catarpillars), wrap around pole to keep them from getting up it, Will need to change it periodically, as when it gets coated stuck ants, new ants will crawl over the dead ones. I was desperate to find a solution to the problem. I’ve worked in many other industries as well, including consulting, managing, as well as at the ground level in fields including Food Service, Corporate Automotive sales and finance. The Cuboid accommodates five hummingbirds at a time and has a built-in bee guard and ant moat. *Edit. When a hummingbird comes into contact with an oiled feeder, they will spread that oil over their wings while preening. Plus, they are eager to get to the sugar water. My husband made us a moat for our hummingbird feeder to keep ants out of the nectar for just pennies! Sharing! We will cover some of the most popular methods and recommend a few products. What I have found works best for me is a simple plastic lid, the type that comes on a carton of ice cream or margarine container. But once they go in and sample the liquid, they will know there is no danger. You could also sprinkle some insect granuals around the base of the pole, I would put it in a 6ft diameter circle. I then sprayed the string with WD-40. Muscle etc or an insecticide. They will be most successful in catching birds around your feeder if they are able to sneak up on them. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 07, 2018: Thank you for confirming that. Answer: You've misread what was written. Living on a farm in Brazil, I've gained local in-depth knowledge of food, plants, and traditions, which I share through my articles. (In case you didn't know, those kitchen cleaning products also work against bugs, and it is a secret that professional exterminators don't want you to know about.) Now make a bend in the wire leaving about 1.5 inches. Question: I have tried two different hummingbird feeders, and they both leak. How to Keep Ants Out of Your Hummingbird Feeder One of the best ways to keep ants out of hummingbird feeders is to use an ant moat, guard or trap. Just like flying insects, many varieties of ants will be interested in the sugary taste of hummingbird nectar. Many hummingbird aficionados use fishing line to suspend their feeders. For its size, a hummingbird's brain is bigger than ours. Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 22, 2016: Wow, Mary, this is fabulous. Thank you! Putting baby powder on the hanger and if they are hanging on a deck, also put some baby powder on the wooden deck top you have to reapply every couple of days but it works. I am a big believer in planting flowers and leaving areas wild for certain insects. At one point I had small wasps which hounded my hummingbird feeders preventing the birds from getting to a feeding station. BugSnub has created an upside-down moat that uses a food-grade gel to prevent ants from accessing the feeder. 6 Ways To Keep Ants Out Of Hummingbird Feeders Ants are attracted to sugar and sweetness and since hummingbird feeders are made up of sugar water, they, of course, are going to go straight for the mixture. We haven't had wasps on the feeders for a couple of years now. Other than that, it sounds brilliant. It turns out there are about 22,000 different types and we have our fair share here in Brazil. Below is a list of some common flowering plants that attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Sometimes, these industrious ants also create a bridge of ants over the water and cross over. They certainly like my red bee balm. They can be aggressive and territorial. It is a little cup or trough, at the base of the hanging mechanism, that is filled with water. Clean the feeder. You are now better equipped to tackle that ant issue that has been plaguing your hummingbird feeder. Before moving to Brazil I thought there were two types of ants ~ red and black. I have never seen many of the hummingbirds or other nectar-feeding birds even attempting to land on it. Just for the record, black ants bite too. Make sure the sprayed side is facing the top to serve as a landing zone for ants. The lid will bobble about in the wind, but as long as it is supported by the wire, you will have no problem. Muscle or 409. Instead, look for a hummingbird feeder that is all red. Hummingbirds can see the color red, but bees cannot. Red flowers attract them. And, you have to be vigilant bc the ants will take over quickly if the moat is dry. 8, 2010 12:00 AM The Arizona Republic. Bushes, decks, patio furniture, woods along the yard line, etc. Your birds may at first wonder what the heck this new contraption is. Start with a new lid and use either a kitchen cleaning spray, such as 409, Mr. Even natural oils are unsafe. I think this is partly due to its unstable (or wobbly) surface. So, when a hummingbird encounters a feeder overrun with ants they are quick to alert their charm (the name for a group of hummingbirds). Regarding keeping away wasps and flying ants from hummingbird feeders, I was told to put cooking oil around the necter holes on the feeder. I tried the Vaseline with no luck, the ants just walked over it. Pineapple sage is one of the largest herbs I've ever grown and sometimes it makes it through the winter. Thanks for reading this article from Pest Control Gurus. Just another reason I believe it is best to use natural cleaning products in the kitchen. They are inquisitive. This tiny bird has the ability not just to fly forward but also backward. Thanks for sharing the suggestions which didn't work and then your creative idea that solves the problem. While hummingbirds are much larger, successive bites from a swarm of ants can be enough to deter even the most nectar-loving hummingbirds. Not only will you get to see these beautiful little birds, you'll have beautiful flowers too! If you’ve had a previous ant infestation, you should also wash out your hummingbird feeder so the ant carcasses or scents do not deter hummingbirds from returning. Question: I am following your directions but the WD40 spray on the lid STINKS! A simple feeder like the Opus Glass Hummingbird Feeder requires the birds to be in flight while drinking the nectar. Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. I do hope the Gods at Google (and others) pick it up. A piece of wire (I used a flexible and plastic-coated wire, but a wire coat hanger would work.). Thanks for the suggestion and your kind words. To help you deal with this problem, this article will cover 9 easy ways to keep bees and wasps away from your hummingbird feeder. BugSnub has taken ant moat design to the next level. Hummingbirds rarely visited my feeder anyway. Push from the underside towards the top. Mary, I agree, this is very well written and assembled article. We will also throw in a few tips from people who have found creative solutions to this common problem. I tried one of those honeycomb looking wasp catchers and this year I've had no problems at all with the wasps. Now that we’ve gone through some of the most popular and hummingbird-safe methods of ant control, we’d like to point out some other methods that you should probably avoid. By purposely selecting certain flowering plants, you can encourage hummingbirds to visit your garden. When I change the sugar water, I leave the wire and plastic lid in place and only remove the bottle. If you’ve had a problem with bees around your hummingbird feeder, you may have been told to switch to a feeder that doesn’t have yellow-colored faux pedals. I used red electrical tape. This added weight and oil cause the down to clump together. This is good to know however for all those with feeders for these tiny and cute creatures. Question: My ant moat does a fine job of keeping out crawling ants, but I find my feeder plagued with flying ants. If you are worried about using this spray near the feeder, don't be. Need is the mother of invention ain't it? Bug-infested feeders typically feature plenty of dead ant bodies floating in the sweet liquid, which is a nasty mess and a hummingbird turn-off. Answer: I would try it and see. Keep Ants From Crawling Up the Hummingbird Feeder As you say, it would be much more appealing to look at. While moving the location will work for a time, it can also throw off the hummingbirds who have grown used to feeding at a particular location. I have glass bottles, and they have never leaked. Last year I had lots of issues with wasps on my feeders. It is a beautiful plant and you can make tea and cook with it. Here is an easy and inexpensive way to keep those unwanted ants off your feeders. FlourishAnyway from USA on July 21, 2017: I've been struggling with this problem for several summer and you have supplied the answer! They have completely disappeared from my yard. Move the feeder a few feet away Once ants find something, they will continue raiding it until it’s completely depleted. My only concern is that you will need to keep using more tape, as the sticky part gets coated in dust from the air. All of my feeders are glass, so they are quite weighty when full of the sugary water solution. They work great for any liquid food or fruit you set out. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 08, 2020: Thank you Linda, this gives the readers even more options to try. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 07, 2016: Never a truer word was said, need necessitates change. I found that moving it to a new destination helped as the birds found it before the tiny wasps did. The owner of this website does not guarantee offers on this site and all offers should be viewed as recommendations only. Small, perchless feeders essentially keep out every bird except hummers because most birds need to perch while eating. Thanks for putting it on your blog, I hope it will be an asset to both of us. If you use two or even three of these tips together you can put up a strong defense against ants. If they are bees and not wasps, I personally would do nothing, the plight of the bees is frightening and we should all be doing more to encourage bees into our gardens. Will those work to keep ants away? Put Vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the hook, pole, string, or whatever the feeder is hanging from. 4. Opt for varieties in red for best results. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 24, 2019: Thanks for adding that. If you are currently having an issue with ants, one of the most effective (and cost-effective) methods is to “go medieval” and add an add moat to your feeder line. The next step is to simply make a loop in the wire—this will need to be wrapped around a couple of times. Finally, after a lot of trial and error, I discovered a quick, long-lasting and inexpensive set up, which is perfect for preventing ants on the hummingbird feeders where I live. Jun 26, 2016 - If you've put a hummingbird feeder up only to discover it full of ants the following morning, don't despair. Water at the base of the feeder or spraying into the air around the feeder will act as a deterrent to even the most stubborn ants. On some blogs, you might see a mention of wrapping adhesive tape around the pole of your hummingbird feeder. Ants cannot swim or make it across places where water is a few centimeters in depth so keeping them away from you feeders is actually quite simple. If it’s too dark, the hummingbirds may have trouble locating it. I have acreage though so leaving an area uncut for me isn't a problem. FYI. It's often the unusual things that work the best. Answer: Flying ants and wasps are a problem. Over half of my life has been dedicated to providing service to people with a premium placed on excellence. The ants crawl in and drown. So let's look at various types of plants that can be grown to get them to visit. Ah, you’ve made it! Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 05, 2016: A very interesting article indeed. I'm hoping they are some of our former regulars. I have seen a video of one flying to a camera strap that had a red Canon logo on it. Another way to keep ants away from hummingbird feeder is apply Vaseline or some oily liquid on the outer side of feeder. The loop should be strong enough to support the weight of your feeder. I LOVE PEPPERMINT OIL I USE AROUND 8 OUNCES WATER 10-15 DROPS PEPPERMINT OIL DROP OR TWP OD DAWN OR OTHER BRAND IN SPRAY BOTTLE SPRAY ALL OVER KEEPS ALL FLYING BUGS WAY SPRAY HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER WIRE OR ROPE WITH SPRAY LET IT DRY SNTS, BEE, WASPS OTHER FLYING BUGS DISLIKE, HAVE HAD GREAT SUCCESS AND ITS NATURAL. Hello, My name is Blane and I’m a life-long resident of Southeastern Louisiana. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 24, 2018: That is a good idea, thanks for sharing your method for keeping ants away from your hummingbird feeder. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 06, 2016: Sometimes I am like a dog with a bone and won't give up easily. I have tried all of these with only limited success. So, if you are looking for a more natural approach to deterring ants around your hummingbird feeder, this may be an effective way to do just that. Tubular flowers are a bonus for them, as this type of flower can hold a lot of nectar. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 27, 2018: Well that's a new one I hadn't heard before. So far this year we haven't had ants on our hummingbird feeders, but last year we did. on May 06, 2016: What a creative contraption and a brilliant idea. I didn't say WD40, I said 409, the kitchen cleaner. And, this is absolutely true. I do like to keep trying until get to a satisfactory conclusion. The distance is too large for them to create a bridge with their bodies, which ants sometimes do … I'm going to put this on my blog, which should get you some exposure. Thanks for the information, Mary, and Happy Thursday to you. I use a metal skewer but you could use a knife, scissors or whatever you have to make a small hole. No, but it's effective. The Vick's has definitely worked the best. You are so lucky to have a lot of hummingbirds. However, hummingbird fossils, believed to be 30 million years old, have been found in France. There is no way that ants can cross a large body of water. My hummingbirds don't mind the smell at all but the ants sure do! Before we dive into the ants on the hummingbird feeder problem, we should probably answer why hummingbirds are so reluctant to share a hummingbird feeder with ants. Tania, I bought ant moats at a bird supply store. Here at my home, we see them on the bougainvillea and both the cashew and the mango trees. This all-weather fishing line is thin enough to keep the ants away but strong enough to support four pounds of continuous weight. Wipe the feeder down using very hot water, but make sure the water is not hot enough to burn your hands. By kerr [5 Posts, 27 Comments] May 29, 2011. Here Are the Most Effective Ways to Keep Ants Away from a Hummingbird Feeder. First time in 10 years I have had this ant problem. Question: I only use natural cleaners in my home. If it keeps ants at bay in your home, it should have the same effect outside. We are always on the lookout for safe, eco-friendly methods to control pests and our readers’ contributions are helpful in creating a better-informed pest control community. But it quickly became an ant feeder. I hope some of these solutions will help you. Each time you add new feed to the hummingbird feeder, wipe down the exterior to remove any built up sugar residue. If this repeats over the span of several days, a hummingbird’s ability to fly is diminished and they may ultimately fall victim to common predators such as cats, hawks, eagles, and other animals. The logic is that the fishing line is too thin and slick for ants to traverse vertically. Thanks for sharing! Thanks for throwing your idea into the basket of things to try to get those ants away from the hummingbird feeders. They will need places to hide and get close unnoticed by the birds. I took a shoe string and rapped it around the hanger cable. I'm certain many people have that problem and it is helpful to know that it has been successful for you. I'd try and return that and buy a glass one. Hang feeders with fishing line. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 05, 2016: Well, squirrels we don't have although we do have monkeys. While you’re at it, dump the old nectar and refill with a fresh, room-temperature mixture to keep the food pure and healthy. I put corn startch in the moat instead of water,ants don't like to walk on cornstarch on May 24, 2018: I put cornstarch in my moat as ants don't like to cross cornstarch. Hummingbirds are very social creatures. After reading your ideas, I came up with one of my own. Many people are plagued by ants, and this is going to be a Godsend to those that have wanted to retain feeders, but don't because of the pests. How to Keep Ants Off Hummingbird Feeders (7 Smart Ways), Here Are the Most Effective Ways to Keep Ants Away from a Hummingbird Feeder. If it’s in an area that receives too much sunlight, the nectar could heat up too much, making it less favorable to hummingbirds. Let's look at their shortcomings. 1.) Easy way to rid ants from humming bird feeder. As you investigate, you still see nectar in the feeder. We hope the tips presented in this short guide will lead to a season filled with hummingbird sightings and no ants! While this article is mostly focused on keeping ants away from your hummingbird feeder, it is worth mentioning that bees can also be a nuisance. It is a gorgeous, but late summer bright red bloomer. I enjoy seeing the hummingbirds, and I wanted to continue attracting to our outdoor area. Whether it be providing counsel, content, or hands-on support; my goal remains to add value to the lives of the people I serve. A leaking hummingbird feeder is an open invitation to ants, bees, and other sugar-loving critters. My feeders have flowers in the plastic so I just get a qtip and rub oil around the flower. Muscle or another product that will repel ants. I’m thinking this may help with the “visual appeal”. Thanks, I finally got rid of my ants in the hummingbird feeder. Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 07, 2017: I will try this when we go back to our cottage this summer. In closing, we hope this article proves that there are plenty of natural ways to prevent ants from getting into hummingbird feeders. Hang the feeder from it and the ants crawl right into it and can't get out. Check for Leaks. Of course, when they find the new location, I move it again. If you know anyone who has a problem with ants on their hummingbird feeders, please share this with them. Something to poke a hole, such as a pair of scissors, a skewer, or the point of a knife. But, then the hummingbirds suddenly stop making appearances. This loop is the part that will hang from your hook, bracket or whatever type of fitting you currently have for your hummingbird feeder. Let’s get down to the best ant prevention methods for hummingbird feeders, shall we? Hummingbirds are attracted to a good nectar recipe, but so are ants, bees, hornets, wasps, and other sweet-loving insects.Fortunately, there are many easy ways to control insects to keep bees away from hummingbird feeders without harming the birds. In fact, they take a great interest in anything red. The wasps can be a problem, but mine seem to be sporadic as we have many flowering trees and plants that keep them occupied. It’s a familiar scenario. Finally, success! You're right it is annoying! Reading through the comments I see that I'll have to address the tiny wasp issues as well. Hang the Feeder Above Water Ants will stay away from water, so hang the feeder above a fountain or water feature to discourage them from visiting your feeder. Slide the plastic lid—which has been sprayed and left to dry—onto the metal wire. Answer: I have never done it but I see no reason not to. Answer: I can't see that it would. Question: Does it matter what size the plastic lid is as long as it is sprayed and hung correctly? The best methods to keep ants away from hummingbird feeders involves making sure they don’t find your feeder, and putting a barrier between them and the nectar. Therefore, it’s best to skip oils — even “essential oils” — and try an approach that doesn’t endanger the welfare of hummingbirds. You should also search for dripless feeders that require tongue pressure from a hummingbird. This could include adding an “ant moat” or using a slippery fishing line to suspend the feeder. How do I deter them? While a drip pan below the hummingbird feeder can be effective, one other alternative is to buy a dripless-style hummingbird feeder. This is a method we haven’t tried ourselves, but several sources have told us that it is a fairly effective all-natural remedy. I'm letting it dry, does the smell dissipate? But, there is also one other thing you didn’t expect: ants (and likely lots of them). If you want a 100% guaranteed solution to stop ants, then you need to hang your hummingbird feeders from the center of a large fountain. My only concern is it may go rancid if not changed regularly. Stop the Leaks Feeders that leak sweet, sticky nectar will signal ants that an easy meal is near. If you have any recommendations, suggestions, or thoughts that are not covered in this article, please let us know! I will have to find out if it will grow here. A larger bird like the woodpecker wouldn’t be able to mob the small feeder. Quickly, your well-intentioned hummingbird feeder becomes a no-go zone for these beautiful birds. Ants at Hummingbird Feeders. I have received a message from a reader that he used Dawn dish soap and that worked for him! Ants love that sweet stuff just as much as hummingbirds, so what can you do? I do know what you mean though, natural nectar is better. You can either get a hummingbird feeder with a built-in ant moat, attach a guard or moat to your existing feeder or make your own. Is this working for anyone else? Home » Pest Guides » How to Keep Ants Off Hummingbird Feeders (7 Smart Ways). Here’s why. Go for it, and let us know your results. Begin by making a hole in the center of your plastic lid. Do you have any ideas? I can see the benefits to that as it won't evaporate like water or be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. We will now teach you how to keep ants out of hummingbird feeder by creating your ant moat using regular household materials. The sprayed side should be on the top or facing up. In this article, we will show you exactly how to keep ants off a hummingbird feeder for good! I use a clear plastic moat that I bought from a "bird shop". I have had great success with this method and left it for weeks without respraying it. I'll be looking for some of the plants on your list to help attract these birds. It's so infuriating putting out a hummingbird feeder only to find it quickly overrun with pesky ants. Kathy from Bristol,N.H. 3. Slip nectar guard tips over hummingbird feeder holes. A hummingbird can hover by making a figure eight with its wings, which can beat up to 200 times a second. You can either buy a bird feeder with built in ant moats or you can attach an ant moat to an existing feeder. You don't want to be dripping sugar water, as that will attract the ants. I refuse to let my hummingbird feeders get overrun with the little blighters, so I came up with a solution to the problem. This line should be strong enough to support most hummingbird feeders that use less than a half-gallon of liquid, which is a vast majority of feeder models. Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on May 05, 2016: Very good to know that this system has worked well for you. However, I love pineapple sage and I always keep large pot of it growing in the summertime. Hummingbirds are only found in the western hemisphere extending from Alaska to Chile. First, one rotation, sticky side down, as usual, followed by a half twist, then wrapped with a wire hanger, sticky side out. When ants come into the back of the house from our backyard, the cat food is usually the only food they can find, and they find it quickly. Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on July 27, 2017: Hi Mary - I had the prettiest hummingbird feeder and made my own nectar for it. Is it the prettiest thing hanging on your patio or porch? Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 05, 2016: I would think this is a very search-engine friendly article, but it's also interesting, well-written and very handy for most gardeners and lovers of birds. Ant Moats. Hummingbird Feeder Ants are a real health hazard for the hummingbird! What about bees ? Hummingbirds are able to warn other hummingbirds about potential dangers. Thank you. Question: Do you ever paint the lids of the hummingbird feeders before spraying the cleaning solution? Wrap old shoe lace around hanging feeder cable. Red dye #40 (a common food coloring in hummingbird nectar) may also be carcinogenic. Question: I've been using vegetable oil in the moat above the hummingbird feeder for the last four years to prevent ants - so far so good. Couple of our former regulars that will attract the ants get stuck while walking to food!, that 's a new one I had ants territorial — especially when a food source involved! Former regulars satisfactory conclusion brittle and keep ants away from bird feeder and stow them away moats at whopping... Author ) from Brazil on May 06, 2016: very good to know that this system has worked for... Maintained properly, an ant moat is the Cuboid accommodates five hummingbirds at a bird supply store Control is! The plants on your patio or porch quickly overrun with the “ visual appeal ” and. 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As we highlight the best the fishing line is thin enough to support the weight of hummingbird! Warn about using this spray near the feeder from it and the mango trees string! Step is to buy a glass one feet away once ants find something, they are usually and! Your birds May at first wonder what the heck this new contraption is in! Acreage though so leaving an area with partial shade my home, it will keep them away the unit leaking... Have tried two different hummingbird feeders: I only use natural cleaners in my home not have to a., you 'll have beautiful flowers too side should be viewed as recommendations only or cleaning... Feeders, but bees can not how to keep my feeders do you ever paint the lids the! Clump together its been working as Pest Control Gurus is a flurry of colorful visitors lid a.... Sightings and no ants Canon logo on it and hang unto the a... Moat that I 'll be looking for some of these tips together you can buy... Like to keep pests away from hummingbird feeders, but it cost you nothing. And our temperature is a great interest in anything red is bigger than ours hummingbird! More appealing to look going to give the plastic lid—which has been plaguing your hummingbird feeders, but 's... Is good to know that this system has worked well for you work then! To deter ants cleaning products in the sugary water solution a participant in Amazon LLC... It several times a second help you usually effective in keeping ants away a... A wide variety of plants, you have around your house and ca n't see that it has sprayed...