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 is a terrible idea as the birds may get stuck to the fly paper!
It seems this could be potentially dangerous to the hummingbirds
By Brenda from Durand, MI
I bought 4 moats from Amazon, filled them with water and still had ants, then I put oil in the moat, hung it from the hook and then the feeder and no more ants, they cannot swim in oil. Works great.
From what I've found from having 20 feeders with moats with water in them, the ants don't bother the feeders, nor do they
go into the water. And this is my 3rd year now of using moats. We actually have hummers year round living here in the desert (Vegas), and ants "use to be" a problem until I found the "moat solution". I like you, appreciate the ingenuity of ants, and they just leave it all alone and are fine. Once they see the water, they know they need to go else where, and they do.
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.
By Jerry from Lampasas, TX
I spread Vaseline on the hook and up the chain and I also have a ant molt keep it filled with water it should not touch anything close to where the ants can reach the feeder like leaves.
I feed about 300 hummers everyday. I go thru about five gallons of feed a day. Ants and bees are a real problem. I hang all my feeders on sheppard hooks. About one foot up from the ground I use axle grease smeared on the pole for about a foot. Product is about 4ft from the feeders. Axle grease is unaffected by heat so even if it's 105 the grease stays in place. I have red ants, black ants, fire ants, carpenter ants and one I don't have a name for. If you do this be sure to wear throw away gloves. And yes I have a large bee problem. So many they killed one of my dogs. I have another solution for bees but unless they are bad and I mean to where I couldn't go near the feeders without bee gear on good luck. Me, I use a shop vac to knock them down. The bees are being managed and the hummers are happy. Every year my hummers return by the hundreds.
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.
This is a guide about using hummingbird feeders. Making sure your feeders are free of insects and clean are important for the hummingbirds.
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)
I used this trick this year but used drapery cord instead of a metal coat hanger and then superglue to seal the hole. I also put a Popsicle stick underneath the cap for more stability (otherwise the cup would list to one side). I put tap water in the cap so the hummingbirds have fresh water to drink in case they need to get hydrated.
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)
I need help with ants in the hummingbird feeder.
How do I keep ants out of my hummingbird feeders?
I hung a hummingbird feeder last year, no problem. I hung one this year and the ants took it over. Any suggestions?