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Deterring Insects from Hummingbird Feeder

I clean and change the sugar water in my hummingbird feeder every other day and was having a big problem with earwigs and ants getting into the container. I think I have solved that problem.

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I sprayed Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer on the trunk of the tree the feeder is hanging in. The past two times I have changed the feeder, there have been no insects in it.

The 1.33 gallon container of Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer was purchased from Walmart for $14.92. It comes with a battery operated wand for spraying, which is really nice and makes spraying around the foundation of the house, windows, etc. so easy. After it dries, this spray is suppose to be safe for children and pets. It has no odor and is safe to use indoors.

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June 17, 20130 found this helpful
Top Comment

Go to Wild Birds Unlimited store or Web site and get an ant moat. It is a container that holds water above the feeder and the ants can't get to the feeder unless they drown first.

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June 21, 20190 found this helpful

I have tried moats every year. These large black ants somehow bridge themselves across the water and walk down the outside of the feeder. The bee proof openings are large enough for these blasted ants to crawl inside and the ants will swim around in the nectar for days!!!! When I go to change and clean the feeder every couple days, the ants are still alive.

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They don't drown. I am exasperated!!! The bee proof openings need to be small enough to keep the ants out and the moats are just totally useless with these ants. I think these ants could be Seal Team divers considering how long they stay alive under and in the nectar. Any ideas?

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June 21, 20190 found this helpful

As for your moat problem being that you've got huge ants that will bridge themselves across the moat that you're using now, the only thing I can think of is to move the moat and your feeder to another location and hopefully the ants won't find it if it doesn't begin dripping.

Is there a way you can post a picture of your feeder, maybe seeing it we can come up with something do-able that will work better for you and your hummingbirds. :)

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June 18, 20132 found this helpful
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Anything that kills insects is also harmful to other wildlife and humans. I wouldn't really trust it being safe, since it is a poison. If it still kills the insects when dry it still has toxic affects. The suggestion for the ant moat is a much better idea and is much safer.

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Many birds eat insects and an insect that has traveled across the pesticide on the tree can harm the birds, particularly when they are feeding their young. Also using the pesticide kills the beneficial insects that are the natural predators.

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May 1, 20160 found this helpful

Thankyou, that needed saying!

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September 3, 20180 found this helpful

very true!

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September 3, 20180 found this helpful

very true!

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May 1, 20161 found this helpful
Top Comment

Using any kind of insecticide to deter ants is definitely dangerous. If put around a tree trunk or house foundation, hummingbirds may survive it but the spiders, anteaters and other beneficial insects will also get killed.

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Best to stick with moats, and vertical sticky stuff like packaging tape or fly tape. Vertical is bad if you also have birds like yellow Goldfinches that will grab vertical objects to eat or rest.

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June 21, 20190 found this helpful

zephyr,

Hummingbirds in our yard are always hanging onto to the vertical "wire hangers" that hold their feeders.

Putting sticky anything around a hummingbird feeder or wires, the hummingbirds tiny little feet will get stuck, because they rest all the time on vertical wires.

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Anonymous
January 29, 20160 found this helpful

You could kill much more than ants with chemicals. Lsndscapers sprayed roundup near my bird house..mama bird and babies were killed.

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Anonymous
May 24, 20181 found this helpful

No, no, no, no, no. Sorry to be abrupt but, more toxins and chemicals are not the answer. Sure, companies will tend to say "safe for you and yours...." they're trying to make money. They have labels like that on the Advantage flea killer.... the next line down, they're saying "poisonous substance, wash thoroughly and immediately" etc. Just sayin that we all have to make safer decisions. Bad stuff gets into the environment, down into the ground-water. It's just bad news. Humans have poisoned the entire planet and we have to stop. When you think about the bad stuff/ bad decisions in your household, then multiply them by many millions of other households, then you can appreciate why entire oceans, etc are loaded with toxins.

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It's all a circle, obviously, bad stuff goes out into the yard, leaches into the groundwater, gets absorbed into the atmosphere, later comes down as toxic rain, which flows through all the streams, spreading the problem everywhere. I want to live. The hummers want to live..... silly stuff like having a greener lawn, scented laundry, a few less bugs, these are the things we're killing the planet for, and it's suicide.

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June 2, 20181 found this helpful

I certainly would not put any chemicals outside at all.........

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June 17, 20180 found this helpful

I tried to Home Defense also as soon as it dried the ants were back.

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July 25, 20180 found this helpful

HEY, THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH USING PESTICIDES ON THE GROUND TO PREVENT ANTS FROM CRAWLING UP THE FEEDER POLE IS THAT HUMMINGBIRDS MUST GO TO THE SOIL FOR CALCIUM AND IT COULD PROVE FATAL FOR THEM...

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June 21, 20190 found this helpful

Never, ever use bug killer anywhere near your feeder. If the bug does get thru it, it carries the toxin on its body right into the feeder holes and into the nectar.

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I want to keep my hummy food free of any chemicals manufactured to kill insects.

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