Keeping Ants Away From Bird Feeder

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

May 31, 20111 found this helpful

You also can buy an ant moat at Wild Birds Unlimited. It works great!

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks Rasta but this one just cost us pennies though, not 7-10 dollars.

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August 6, 20120 found this helpful

Luv it, luv it, luv it! Had hummy feeders aplenty at our previous home. Can't wait to find a location to hang some where the local winds can't toss 'em an' spill that great sugar-water all over the ground (which really brings the ants!). Thanx for the great tip.

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August 21, 20130 found this helpful

I took 2 of these suggestions and put talcomum powder in the plastic cup on top of the hummingbird feeder. This worked also.

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August 21, 20130 found this helpful

I couldn't seal the hole, so put talc into the cup instead. It worked a charm! Now hoping the hummers love Lavender Talcum powder :-)

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August 24, 20140 found this helpful

Your husband is a genius. This is the first year that we have had a problem with ants on the feeder. I spent a lot of time changing the sugar water after flushing out all the ants. When I read your post, I immediately tried it. It works beautifully. The hummingbirds love it, I love it, and the ants hate it. Thanks for the tip.

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April 23, 20150 found this helpful

A google search led me here and it seems I have found a solution! But first let me ask...does the moat only deter the ants from traveling further or does it drown them as well? I'd hate to think that I am drowning these determined critters simply because they are good at doing what they do best.

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July 14, 20160 found this helpful

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.

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October 6, 20160 found this helpful

No it does not kill the ants. Ants won't cross water, so when they encounter it, they turn around.

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May 5, 20151 found this helpful

Thank you this works the best. I used a hot glue gun to seal the hole.

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Anonymous Flag
May 13, 20160 found this helpful

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.

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