Ants and Wasps in Bird Feeders

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?

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Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC

May 10, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

A good layer of petroleum jelly around the pole or mount keeps ants away pretty well. I've heard they don't like peppermint oil too, you could try dabbing some of that around. I'm not sure about the wasps though!

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Anonymous Flag
March 13, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I wrap one of those fly-catcher strips around the very top of the hanging wire and the ants will not cross over it. It has never harmed by hummingbirds either! We have those big, black ants, but this stops them!

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October 7, 20160 found this helpful

Please don't use fly catcher strips. I have seen in my clinic, hummingbirds that have been stuck in them and it ripped their feathers out. It is much easier to purchase an ant moat or make your own.

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June 9, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I put dab of vaseline on the hangers. Works like a charm on the ants. Beekeepers on the feeding ports keeps out the bees too! Hummers are happy! ! !

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July 14, 20160 found this helpful

I think the Vaseline is a great idea but what are beekeepers? Thank you so much for the tip.

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September 3, 20160 found this helpful

What are "beekeepers"?

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October 7, 20160 found this helpful

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. 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. Plus, most of these items will melt in the heat making goo run all over the place. If the hummingbirds can't preen this goo off their feathers, it leads to hypothermia and then death. Please don't use these items.

Decrease the amount of sugar in your mixture or use 3 cups water to 1 cup sugar in a bowl and place a little ways from your feeders. The bees should find this source.

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July 24, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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May 13, 20090 found this helpful

To keep ants out of your Hummingbird feeders, hang them with fishing line. I do this and it works great. Patti

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May 14, 20090 found this helpful

You can buy an attachment or make one that you fill with water to prevent the ants from getting in the feeders. I had one feeder that I placed on a flat rock and put it in a large round plant tray that was filled with water, like a moat to control the ant problem.

The flying insects are tough to control. What I did at one time was to put some of the sugar mix in a small container near the feeder but away from people and the house to actually feed the ants and other critters. I was able to hide the container near a bush so it was out of sight. It didn't completely solve the problem, but we did have a lot less wasps and bees using the feeders.

I read that if keep a stuffed brown paper lunch bag hanging nearby, that it will deter bees and wasps. The idea behind this is that wasps and bees are territorial and they see the bag as another nest so they will avoid the area. It would have to be secured and protected from the weather. I have not tried this but it may be worth it to try.

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August 6, 20120 found this helpful

The fishing line & the petroleum jelly did not work for me. Nor the brown bag for the wasp. I think i'll try the water moot next.

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June 10, 20160 found this helpful

There is a gadget called an ant umbrella. I bought mine at the dollar store. Works great, now for the bees and wasps

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Anonymous Flag
January 17, 20160 found this helpful

Ants are not a problem if the feeder is hanging. Simply wrap a piece of fly paper around the hook/wire it is hanging from. They can't get by it.

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June 2, 20160 found this helpful

Attach little moats (found that on Utube) above the hummingbird feeders. For 6 years now, we've had no ants at all. The moats work.

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Anonymous Flag
June 6, 20160 found this helpful

I use the same thing my husband made from a plastic pudding cup filled with water. Works everytime. Good luck.

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July 14, 20160 found this helpful

We purchased one of the moats also...just to give it a try. It worked. We needed several more, so we improvised a bit. We used the big plastic scoops from powdered mixes, protein powder jugs, etc; and then, we drilled holed to fit our hanging wire/chains through, slid the moat approximately a foot above the feeder, and voila...no more ants.

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July 12, 20160 found this helpful

If you have a cap from a spray type can drill a hole in the middle and run your cord that you have attached to the feeder, glue the cap to the cord where you drilled. pour water in the cup and the ants will have to cross the water to get to the feeder. Works for me, still trying to figure out how to get rid of the warps and jackets.

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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

I read mint extract works but I didn't have any. I thought about sticking mint gum on the feeder, but didn't have any of that either. After digging around in my kitchen I found Jr mints. I cut one in half and spread the mint center on the feeder where the top screws into the bottom. I hung the feeders out and watched the bees try to land but wouldn't stay on the feeder. I'm so pleased!

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Anonymous Flag
August 24, 20160 found this helpful

I wrapped the bottom of my shepherds hook with a few strips of carpet tape (stickey on both sides). The ants can't crawl past it.

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Anonymous Flag
September 1, 20160 found this helpful

If you have a shepards hook hanger for your feeder the ants crawl up it to the feeder. What I did is apply white grease to the pole, that is all around the pole. The ants will not go over it and you will not have them all summer long. White grease will keep not change or get hard like most greases. good luck.

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September 12, 20160 found this helpful

Cinnamon. Dump it on the feeder & around holes. Hummers don't care, but ants HATE it!

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September 19, 20160 found this helpful

Only until they get used to it, then it's katy-bar-the-door. i stil have a huge packet of cinnamon left over from when i tried it. i will never bake that much in my lifetime!

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September 19, 20160 found this helpful

For ants, I use a Perky-Pet Ant Guard. It hangs between the support and the feeder and is impregnated with permethrin. Does not keep the birds away, and I have had one for five years now that still works. Best advice for keeping bees and wasps away would be to hang feeders that they can't get into. I also swap the feeders around a little bit. In the fall, though, I get an influx of honeybees that I have never been able to deal with. Mint doesn't seem to work, oil/vaseline is dangerous for the hummers, and any decoys I put out just attract more bees. I feel for the bees, though, too, and after my hummers are gone, I put out plates for the bees until it gets really cold. How silly is that?

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October 7, 20160 found this helpful

An ant moat is very easy to make or you can purchase online.

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. 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. Plus, most of these items will melt in the heat making goo run all over the place. If the hummingbirds can't preen this goo off their feathers, it leads to hypothermia and then death. Please don't use these items.

Decrease the amount of sugar in your mixture or use 3 cups water to 1 cup sugar in a bowl and place a little ways from your feeders. The bees should find this source.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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