Protecting Hummingbird Feeders

The sweet nectar in a hummingbird feeder also attracts unwanted guests such as ants and bees. This is a page about protecting hummingbird feeders.


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I have been reading about a variety of ideas for keeping ants, etc., out of hummingbird feeders. I have cared for hummingbirds for over 30 years and I've tried just about everything out there.

I have two of the very largest Perky Pet Hummingbird feeders made. Each year we end up with between 20 to 30 hummingbirds. The best things we've done is to hang the feeders from the eaves of the house with a pully that allows me to raise and lower the feeders to change their feed, which is at least once a day in each. To get to the wire that the feeders hang from, first the ants have to climb across our brick wall and up the drain spout to get to the point from which the feeders hang. From there, they can climb down. But I beat them to the punch by dusting the wall and the drain spout with Sevin Dust. I don't like killing the ants, but they seem to get the point after a while and don't bother the feeders anymore after that.


Flying insects, especially wasps, are a different matter. Since one of my feeders hangs in front of my kitchen window, I have a good view of them. As soon as I see one buzzing around the feeder, I go outside with a flyswatter.

Keep all sorts of poisons, and other deterents, like oils, etc., away from the feeders and their hangers. My birds perch on the lines, as well as the cord the hangers hang from while waiting their turn to the feeders. Anything they pick up on their little feet can easly wind up in their beaks, or be carried back to the little ones in the nests.

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July 2, 2020

I have had success protecting my hummingbird food from ants by putting a pile of food-grade (not for pools) diatomaceous earth around the bottom of the shepherds hook. It kills anything with an exoskeleton (ants, spiders, roly polys, etc.) but is not harmful to mammals or birds if they eat it or touch it.


I also put it into the built-in moat on the hummingbird feeder. I add a little more each time I fill it. Ants will not cross it and will die shortly after if they do. I learned about it from Wolf Creek Ranch (online) and they use it to clean wolf rescues (and all others on their ranch) from worms. I tried it in hummingbird feeders and it works. Google it, but make sure to only use food-grade diatomaceous earth.

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August 19, 2011

This is a page about keeping ants out of the hummingbird feeder. The sweet liquid in your hummingbird feeder attracts more visitors than just your intended guests. Ants also love the sweet nectar and often invade the feeders. Keeping them out can be a real hassle.

Hummingbird perched on a feeder.

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November 30, 2015

Bees and hummingbirds are often found in the same places in your garden. However, if you are putting out food for the hummingbirds it can attract an unwanted amount of bees.


This is a page about keeping bees out of your hummingbird feeder.

Bee on Hummingbird Feeder

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