The sweet liquid in your hummingbird feeder attracts more visitors than just your intended guests. Ants also love the sweet nectar and often invade the feeders. Keeping them out can be a real hassle. This is a guide about keeping ants out of the hummingbird feeder.
I have tried "everything" over the years to keep ants out of my hummingbird feeders without success, but have finally solved this problem. As usual as soon as the weather warmed up they arrived in great numbers. I used a wire to hang the feeder, and then twisted an old fashioned fly strip around the wire above the feeder. It has been in place for about 2 months now and not one ant have I seen.
Source: My daughter helped me figure this out.
This works great. Put Vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the hook, pole, string, or whatever the feeder is hanging from. The ants get stuck while walking to the food. Just make sure that they have no access without having to walk through the goo. They have completely disappeared from my yard.
By Brenda2u from Huntington Beach, CA
My husband made us a moat for our hummingbird feeder to keep ants out of the nectar for just pennies! 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. He fed the wire through, set the "moat" on top of the feeder, then sealed the hole in the water bottle so no water would leak out. Let sealer (bathtub sealer) set up, add water after dried, and no more ants in the nectar.
By Brenda from Durand, MI
If the bees are chasing your hummingbirds from the feeders, and ants are draining them, as they are mine, you can solve the problem for the most part by making a quick and cheap trap.
I put packaging tape on my feeder to catch the ants as they crawl down to get to the sweet stuff. Since I have been doing this, I have had no ants in my feeder and the tape still works after it rains.
I was finding ants getting into my hummingbird feeder that was hung on a shepard's hook. They apparently climbed up the pole and into the food. I took shipping tape and tied it with string around the post (with sticky side out) starting at the bottom.
By Jerry from Lampasas, TX
All I can say is WOW! The most that I have ever had is 6 hummers in one season. A male cardinal took on a feeder last year and would not move when
the hummers tried to feed. I just hung more feeders.
I have an expensive glass hummingbird feeder. The hummingbirds come to it very regularly. My problem is that these huge black ants (and they are numerous) are floating in the liquid and are also on the actual feeder. When the liquid is finished, which seems to be every second day, I take it apart and wash it down and clean out all the ants. I then put in fresh liquid. Does anyone know how I can eliminate all these large black ants without jeopardizing the birds?
Please don't use vaseline! It is harmful to hummingbirds if they bump into it. Google it! Thank you!
I have been reading about a variety of ideas for keeping ants, etc., out of hummingbird feeders. I have cared for hummingbirds for over 30 years and I've tried just about everything out there.
How do I keep ants from getting into my bird feeders? I have gone to clean them out and had literally thousands of ants come out of them. Also, any suggestions on keeping wasps and other creatures away from the hummingbird feeders?
Hardiness Zone: 8a
By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC
to keep wasps away from feeder plant mint plants near feeder . Wasps dont like mint. I made a solution of peppermint extract and water and put it in a little spray bottle. I spray the plants near the feeder. The wasps don't like it and fly away.
After several years of trying everything possible, I've found that liberally applying vegetable oil all over the shepard's crook and the feeder hanger itself keeps ants away. Nothing toxic, messy, or unsightly, and the ants don't like it!
To prevent ants on hummingbird feeders, use a dryer sheet on the wire supporting the feeder. It works great!
Is there a way to keep ants out of the hummingbird feeder? Is there an ant-proof feeder?
I have made an ant moat from a hairspray cap and wire and where I inserted the wire, I used a caulk to seal the hole. If you can look at one at "Wild Birds Unlimited", you can go home and make one. They were like $8 and you can make one much cheaper than that.
I have the Perky-Pet type of feeder that mounts on a post, or with suction cups to a window. How can I keep ants away from the feeder? It only takes the ants a few hours to find the feeder, and the only thing I can do is change the nectar, clean the feeder, and remount it.
Be careful with this, the Vaseline can melt into the liquid and make the hummers sick, remember it's a petroleum product. Better to put it on the container part.
I've put Vaseline on the bottom portion of the pole where I hang my hummingbird feeder. I avoid putting it where the birds may land just on the bottom portion of the pole. It sure helps keeping ants away.
I can't seem to get rid of the ants on a hummingbird feeder and with this drought it's really hard to keep a mote full of water. I am using a scrap of jewelry wire to hang the feeder from. So far it's working! It is too small for the ants to travel on!
How do I get rid of ants from a hummingbird feeder?
It is called an ant trap or oil cup and it hangs between the feeder and whatever you have the feeder hanging on. Ant traps are filled with oil and you should be able to find one wherever you find hummer feeders. 10W30 or some such is the best choice as ants can walk short distances on water.
Put a small hole in the center of a large lid. Run the line you use to hang the feeder through it. Push the lid down to sit on the feeder and seal the hole. Now fill it with water, the ants will drown.
This is a guide about using hummingbird feeders. Making sure your feeders are free of insects and clean are important for the hummingbirds.
How can I keep ants out of my hummingbird feeder when it's hanging in a tree? I don't want to harm the tree.
By Penny from Branch, AR
Place a band of Vaseline about 1 inch wide where the feeder hangs and the ants will not cross the band. (09/24/2010)
Tanglefoot, is made for exactly that problem. A small tub will last years. Smear on the wire, holder, support, or hanger above. Ants, earwigs, any bug that crawls will not cross. Weatherproof for the whole season, heck the whole year. Cheers. (09/24/2010)
Spray the area at the location of the string or wire with bug spray. This will keep the ants off. If you feel this is inhumane, you can also buy a feeder that has an ant mote. I got mine at Walmart. (09/24/2010)
Go to Birds and Blooms.com there is a wealth of information on all kinds of things there. (09/24/2010)
I've always heard you don't want to. Humming birds gain protein and other nutrients from the few bugs that they ingest when they feed. At least this is the info that I got from several sources. Bottom line: ants aren't your enemy. (09/25/2010)
Tie Bounce dryer sheets very tightly around your hanger or hook. Ants will not touch or cross it. Be sure to replace it every so often after it rains. I've used this for years and it always works. (10/22/2010)
Spray around the hanger with cooking spray. (01/05/2011)
You will need a plastic cap from spray paint or a cosmetics top. Drill a hole in the center of the cap. Insert a piece of a coat hanger wire through the hole, position the cap in the middle of the wire, empty side up, and bend a hook each end. Seal around the hole in the cap with glue. Fill the cap with water. Attach the hummingbird feeder from one hook and hang it from the other.
We made this hanger shown on this website made from a hanger and spray can top. Oh Mylanta, it worked like a charm. Hundreds of ants in the spray can top and none in the feeders. It took maybe five minutes to make and did the trick. Thanks for helping! (08/30/2010)