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Vaseline To Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird Feeders

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

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November 30, 20112 found this helpful
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Sorry, but I do not like the vaseline anywhere near hummingbirds. Hummers do not have the right equipment to remove it from their wings if they come in contact with it. As they may well, with their energetic flights and fights around feeders. It coats their feathers & beaks, causing distress, hampered flying and possible digestion and body temperature problems. Buy a feeder with a water moat on the top or make your own with a lid. Poke a small hole through the lid, slip on the "moat" to the top, and add water.

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July 20, 20121 found this helpful
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I agree that the Vaseline should not be where the birds may contact the grease; however, I have put the Vaseline near where the hanger is attached to my house. The birds could not get close to the grease so that avoids that problem. The Vaseline has worked extremely well and there have been NO ants on the hanging platform.

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October 6, 20161 found this helpful

Please NO VASELINE. Please please do not spray your feeders with Pam spray. Don't put any oils, Vicks Vapor Rub, Pam Cooking Spray, Duct Tape, Off, Skin-so-soft, or Vaseline on your hummingbird feeder. These may work slightly. However, hummingbirds have a tendency to fly around frantically and bump into feeders quite often. They also land on shepards hooks and if there is oily stuff or duct tape on the feeder, it can get into the feathers. The hummingbirds will have a hard time getting it off and it's not all that good for them. They can't get it off their feathers and it will lead to hypothermia and death. Plus, most of these items will melt in the heat making goo run all over the place. Please don't use these items.

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February 22, 20172 found this helpful

This is a very old post, but I hope you are no longer using this method. The hummingbirds eat ants, they are largely insectivores birds, use nectar for energy, and they would come in contact with the vaseline when going after the ants!

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June 30, 20131 found this helpful

I did this on the shephard's hook that I hung my feeder on. I smeared vaseline on the pole starting about an inch from the ground, up about 4 inches. I have never seen any hummingbird down that close to the ground, so I'm not too worried about the birds getting greasy. Works really well to keep the ants out!

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September 6, 20131 found this helpful

Have had no luck with the Vaseline. The are just marching right through it to the feeder!

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May 9, 20152 found this helpful

Do not use vasoline, grease, cooking oils or any kind of solvents as an ant barrier. Especially not a product called tree tanglefoot also marketed as a barrier. These items are kniwn to kill hummingbirds. They bump into feeders and hooks or poles frequently for a sip of nectar and they cannot remove these products from their feathers!

Preening spreads the vasoline, etc. Look at this hummingbirds face full of vasoline in the picture below. What happens is they can no longer keep warm or fly. They die a slow death.

Birds have been found glued to trees with tanglefoot barrier causing wing and feather loss. I can post pictues of a featherless hummingbird that died thus week in rescue.

Only use a water moat as a barrier. DON'T use Vasoline!

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June 18, 20150 found this helpful

Our feeder is hung from the eave with a bungi cord. I wiped a little Vaseline on the cord and hook; no ants have crossed the barrier and I have yet to see a bird near it. Our visitors have increased over time and none has been interested in any spot but the feeding ports.

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October 6, 20160 found this helpful

Hummingbirds will land on that cord. Please NO VASELINE. Please please do not spray your feeders with Pam spray. Don't put any oils, Vicks Vapor Rub, Pam Cooking Spray, Duct Tape, Off, Skin-so-soft, or Vaseline on your hummingbird feeder. These may work slightly. However, hummingbirds have a tendency to fly around frantically and bump into feeders quite often. They also land on shepards hooks and if there is oily stuff or duct tape on the feeder, it can get into the feathers. The hummingbirds will have a hard time getting it off and it's not all that good for them. They can't get it off their feathers and it will lead to hypothermia and death. Plus, most of these items will melt in the heat making goo run all over the place. Please don't use these items.

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July 25, 20150 found this helpful

I put vaseline real heavy on the hooks to the feeders but in 48 hours the ants were snowboarding over it. Some get stuck but never the less the ants won again. It was a messy job putting the vaseline on the hooks and around the top of the feeders. The hooks are two feet long and hang from the porch and they are thick with vaseline now. What a mess to have to clean up.

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May 9, 20161 found this helpful

I tried the Petroleum jelly trick and my ants loved it so I went to Birds Unlimited store and bought an ant mote, much like the ladies above, and have had no more problems. They are not expensive. If there is not a store in your area check out their web site. Also I see a lot of red coloring in the bird feeders and wanted you to know the red dye is very harmful to the humming birds. I make my own by putting 4 cups of water in a pan and add 1 cup of sugar and bring it to a boil then let it cool to room temp and use that. Do not add color. My feeder is red and that is all it needs.

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Anonymous
May 14, 20161 found this helpful

Vaseline on pole or string of feeder is dangerous for hummingbirds. They can actually become stuck to the Vaseline, and it gets on feathers.

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June 11, 20160 found this helpful

Doesn't work well. Anta still wade through it.

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June 27, 20160 found this helpful

tried it but after about a week ants were crossing over Vaseline--NO GOOD

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June 29, 20160 found this helpful

THis worked for my hummingbird feeder for years, but for some reason not this year.

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July 6, 20160 found this helpful

You must have small ants because i have the big BLACK ants and i tried this. I even put the vaseline on THICK and still watched them walk right over the vaseline to get to the feeder! I am just so discouraged!

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July 25, 20160 found this helpful

Didn't work for my tried this the big black ants just walked right through it

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August 12, 20160 found this helpful

Looks like an easy solution. I'll try it tomorrow. Thanks.

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August 26, 20160 found this helpful

Keep oil and Vaseline on the base of the pole - DO NOT put anywhere the birds might come in contact with it. It can get on their feathers and they can't preen it off. Just think oil spill and coated birds dying.

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September 20, 20160 found this helpful

As the vaseline hardens over a few days the ants just begin to simlpy walk over it, very frustrating.

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November 21, 20160 found this helpful

This didn't work for me.

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February 6, 20171 found this helpful

Please DO NOT USE VASELINE OR OIL NEAR HUMMINGBIRDS FEEDERS!

YOU WILL KILL THEM!

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March 10, 20170 found this helpful

Actually very bad idea. The vaseline can get on hummers' wings. they will get stuck together and the hummingbirds are then unable to fly and feed and they die of starvation. Water moat is the best solution for this.

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April 6, 20170 found this helpful

Vaseline will melt in the hot sun.....it is bad for the hummingbirds. I found at Wild Birds Unlimited an ant proof and bee proof hummingbird feeder. I had to purchase a packet of the little plastic tips to put over the holes on the feeder but IT WORKS!!!! The feeders have a small water mote in the center that the ants will not cross and believe me we have watched them try.

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April 10, 20170 found this helpful

I thought of trying this a few years back, and yuck, I will never do it again. The vaseline becomes gummy, and in hot weather it makes a real mess.

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