Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 07, 2016: Never a truer word was said, need necessitates change. Insect spray or kitchen cleaning spray, such as Mr. Here are 6 ways to keep ants out of your hummingbird feeders. The distance is too large for them to create a bridge with their bodies, which ants sometimes do … So, you may also look at other dye-free alternatives, such as boiling sugar in with water. If you have any questions regarding pest control, leave them below. The loop should be strong enough to support the weight of your feeder. (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.) I'd try and return that and buy a glass one. But, there is also one other thing you didn’t expect: ants (and likely lots of them). Hummingbird Feeder Ants are a real health hazard for the hummingbird! A plastic lid sprayed with household cleaner and placed above the hummingbird feeder can keep ants at bay. Home » Pest Guides » How to Keep Ants Off Hummingbird Feeders (7 Smart Ways). Start with a new lid and use either a kitchen cleaning spray, such as 409, Mr. They will be most successful in catching birds around your feeder if they are able to sneak up on them. I then sprayed the string with WD-40. 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. But once they go in and sample the liquid, they will know there is no danger. Thanks for throwing your idea into the basket of things to try to get those ants away from the hummingbird feeders. 1. Answer: I would try it and see. You can either buy a bird feeder with built in ant moats or you can attach an ant moat to an existing feeder. He cut a water bottle in half, drilled a hole in bottom just big enough to fit the coated wire that holds the feeder on the shepherds hook. Thank you! I refuse to let my hummingbird feeders get overrun with the little blighters, so I came up with a solution to the problem. If you can't do it with your fingers, use pliers. My feeders have flowers in the plastic so I just get a qtip and rub oil around the flower. Not only will you get to see these beautiful little birds, you'll have beautiful flowers too! Since most ants reach a hummingbird feeder from the suspension line or hook, a baited ant moat is very effective at preventing the critters from reaching the feeder. You put up a hummingbird feeder and in the first few weeks, there is a flurry of colorful visitors. Luckily they haven't discovered my feeders. You are now better equipped to tackle that ant issue that has been plaguing your hummingbird feeder. The ants crawl in and drown. Right now, I'm hoping that the little guys will find it in the new location. Some hummingbird feeder owners tie either bay or mint leaves around the suspension cord leading to the hummingbird feeder. Plus, they are eager to get to the sugar water. This loop is the part that will hang from your hook, bracket or whatever type of fitting you currently have for your hummingbird feeder. So, when a hummingbird encounters a feeder overrun with ants they are quick to alert their charm (the name for a group of hummingbirds). Keep Ants From Crawling Up the Hummingbird Feeder I didn't say WD40, I said 409, the kitchen cleaner. If you don’t keep the bees and wasps away from your hummingbird feeder, you’ll end up seeing fewer hummingbirds in your lawn and many more bees and wasps. 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. By purposely selecting certain flowering plants, you can encourage hummingbirds to visit your garden. I took a shoe string and rapped it around the hanger cable. Thanks for the idea. Ants at Hummingbird Feeders. They certainly like my red bee balm. The smell might deter them, but after a few sunny days, the adhesive and scent properties of tape usually wear off. First, one rotation, sticky side down, as usual, followed by a half twist, then wrapped with a wire hanger, sticky side out. When I looked on the internet for ideas, all I found were ideas for moats or coatings for the hook or chain. https://dengarden.com/gardening/Prevent-Ants-on-Hummingbird-feeders I'm certain many people have that problem and it is helpful to know that it has been successful for you. Tubular flowers are a bonus for them, as this type of flower can hold a lot of nectar. 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. The next step is to simply make a loop in the wire—this will need to be wrapped around a couple of times. 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. Pineapple sage is one of the largest herbs I've ever grown and sometimes it makes it through the winter. We haven't had wasps on the feeders for a couple of years now. On some blogs, you might see a mention of wrapping adhesive tape around the pole of your hummingbird feeder. I tried the moat idea, but like the author, I don't have the time to fill it several times a day. While hummingbirds are much larger, successive bites from a swarm of ants can be enough to deter even the most nectar-loving hummingbirds. Fishing line is too thin for ants to climb, which means they won’t be able to reach your hummingbird feeders for a free meal. I’m thinking this may help with the “visual appeal”. Living on a farm in Brazil, I've gained local in-depth knowledge of food, plants, and traditions, which I share through my articles. The program pays this website advertising fees for products purchased after users click the links to Amazon. I'm not sure why but our location attracted only three to five regulars, but we found that the squirrels were chug-a-lugging the feeders. Slide the plastic lid—which has been sprayed and left to dry—onto the metal wire. Something to poke a hole, such as a pair of scissors, a skewer, or the point of a knife. A simple feeder like the Opus Glass Hummingbird Feeder requires the birds to be in flight while drinking the nectar. Since chitin is slick and oily, regular adhesive tape has little effect on ants. A piece of wire (I used a flexible and plastic-coated wire, but a wire coat hanger would work.). Hello, My name is Blane and I’m a life-long resident of Southeastern Louisiana. on May 06, 2016: What a creative contraption and a brilliant idea. 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. Thanks for sharing the suggestions which didn't work and then your creative idea that solves the problem. At least now you've got a plan of action, just in case. Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 22, 2016: Wow, Mary, this is fabulous. The sprayed side should be on the top or facing up. You don't want to be dripping sugar water, as that will attract the ants. These pests rarely bother hummingbirds, but their persistence can easily drain a feeder in a few days. Some feeders come with built-in ant moats, but they are usually small and will dry out quickly. 4. They work great for any liquid food or fruit you set out. 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. Bushes, decks, patio furniture, woods along the yard line, etc. If you know anyone who has a problem with ants on their hummingbird feeders, please share this with them. Ants apparently hate mint and bay leaves. For its size, a hummingbird's brain is bigger than ours. We will now teach you how to keep ants out of hummingbird feeder by creating your ant moat using regular household materials. Each time you add new feed to the hummingbird feeder, wipe down the exterior to remove any built up sugar residue. So far this year we haven't had ants on our hummingbird feeders, but last year we did. As you investigate, you still see nectar in the feeder. In fact, they take a great interest in anything red. While this seems like a plausible life hack, ants have an exoskeleton made of chitin, a substance made of cellulose polymers. I am a big believer in planting flowers and leaving areas wild for certain insects. The feeders have been moved around on different branches of the trees but the persistent pests keep finding them. One great option is the Sufix Magic Fishing Line (Clear). Sharing! 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. Need is the mother of invention ain't it? I was desperate to find a solution to the problem. I tried the Vaseline with no luck, the ants just walked over it. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 22, 2017: Oh, that's great news. It turns out there are about 22,000 different types and we have our fair share here in Brazil. Red flowers attract them. When a hummingbird comes into contact with an oiled feeder, they will spread that oil over their wings while preening. 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. 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. 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 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. Let us know if you’ve had successful results with this method and we’ll share your story on the Pest Control Gurus website! 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