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Keeping Ants out of Hummingbird Feeder

It's a little late in the season for this tip but if needed, it works well. 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. I have been using this method for several weeks and have replaced the tape only once.
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I noticed that the ants were disappearing but not showing up inside the feeder and was wondering what was happening to them. Then, I saw a bird perched on the feeder reaching up and pecking an ant off the tape.

Supplies:

Steps:

  1. Use a piece of Scotch tape to tape the end of packaging tape to the feeder to hold it in place as you pull the packaging tape, sticky side up, around the bottle.
  2. Overlap the packaging tape where the scotch tape is and make your cut. The tape should be sticky all around with no bridges for the ants to cross. I place a little piece of popsicle stick on the packaging tape before making the cut so I don't lose the end of the tape.

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September 26, 20133 found this helpful
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This shows how the tape works. These are the big red ants and some of them are strong enough to get across the tape. Where is my bird when I need him?

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Anonymous
May 15, 20163 found this helpful
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Please never use packing tape near or on a feeder. Hummingbirds can get stuck to the tape and if ihe sticky gets on their feathers they can not clean it off and will not be able to fly. It is also not advised to use any type of grease or oil.

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August 4, 20161 found this helpful
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my light post has a hook, I place my hummingbird feed on the hook, so, the ants like traveling up the pole, but I get your idea, and I will try the packaging tape, thanks

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October 28, 20163 found this helpful
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The packaging tape does work well. When I was using that method, my feeder was hanging in a tree and actually inviting ants to come and drink. Ants were a real problem. Since then, we have cut the tree down and I put my feeder on a pole. I got some Home Defense insect spray from Walmart. It is the kind that is safe to use inside your home. It says it is not harmful to animals after it dries which does not take long. I sprayed the grass just around the bottom of the pole and up the pole just a little above the grass line. No ants at all. I had to spray each time it rained. It solved my problem with ants and we had a lot of hummingbirds this summer.

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September 11, 20130 found this helpful

That is such a simple easy and cheap solution.

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July 4, 20144 found this helpful

I think it's great your solution of using the packaging tape has worked out for you in as far as keeping the ants out of your hummingbird feeder. I would offer one word of caution though. I used to volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation center. A little wren was brought in one day to the center completely featherless. He had gotten stuck on some fly paper and in all his struggles to get free of it had all of his beautiful little feathers ripped out. I have no idea personally how strong the adhesive is on packaging tape as compared to fly paper, but thought it best to provide this information. Good luck!

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June 30, 20163 found this helpful

I would be afraid that a bird's wing get caught on the tape

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November 21, 20161 found this helpful

Packing tape did not work!

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November 21, 20161 found this helpful
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Shriljacaw, I'm sorry the tape did not work for you. We actually had the hummingbird feeder hanging in a tree and naturally the ants crawled up the tree. The tape worked for me but I had to change it often.

Since then, we cut the tree down and now I hang the feeder on a pole where the tree was. I spray the ground around the bottom of the pole and up the pole just a little above the grass line using "Home Defense" that I got from Wal-mart in the garden section. It says on the container that it is harmless to animals after it drys.

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It kept the ants off the pole and out of the feeder. I had no problem with them all during the summer. I had to spray after each rain as the spray I use is for indoor use.

We had lots of hummingbirds. Here in North Carolina, we don't see many starting in September as they leave and go South.

Hope this helps.

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April 23, 20171 found this helpful

Thanks for the tips! Our feeders hang off a post on our covered deck, so we wrapped the post in strapping tape, top and bottom of the feeder hangers. We'll see if it works!

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June 4, 20170 found this helpful

The humming birds wings won't get stuck to the tape?

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June 13, 20170 found this helpful

Kill ants, very useful creatures, to feed another animal. Super animal unfriendly. Can't anyone think of something better?

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August 6, 20171 found this helpful

I learned the hard way not to use any sticky tapes on any feeders of any sorts. I once found a chickadee stuck to some tape and luckily I was able to remove it from the tape before any major damage was done. A hummingbird wasn't so lucky when I innocently tried this tip several years ago. We were away for a few days and came home to find a dead hummer with a broken wing and beak stuck to the tape. Hummingbirds eat bugs, too.

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Keeping Ants out of Hummingbird Feeder - Wrapping tape around a hummingbird feeder.
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