Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

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. This is a guide about keeping ants out of the hummingbird feeder.
Ad

Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 21 found this helpful
May 29, 2011

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 kerr from Durand, MI

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 21

Comments

August 21, 20132 found this helpful
Top Comment

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

Reply Was this helpful? 2
August 21, 20132 found this helpful
Top Comment

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 :-)

Reply Was this helpful? 2
August 24, 20145 found this helpful
Top Comment

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.

Ad

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.

Reply Was this helpful? 5
July 14, 20163 found this helpful
Top Comment

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.

Reply Was this helpful? 3

By 8 found this helpful
August 6, 2012

If the bees are chasing your hummingbirds from the feeders, and ants are draining them, as they are mine, you can solve the problem for the most part by making a quick and cheap trap.

    Ad

  1. Take a used water bottle or soda bottle and paint several dots around the bottle about 2 inches or so above the bottom. I used a red Sharpie.

  2. Heat a sharp instrument and punch small holes in the middle of each hole, making is just big enough for the insects to enter. I used a metal ice pick for this step. Also put a couple holes in the cap.

  3. Cut a piece of dental floss about 5 inches long, thread it through the holes in the cap, and knot it to form a loop to hang the trap.

  4. Pour a little nectar in the bottle, or a little fruit juice.

  5. Twist the cap on and hang it near your feeders.

It won't take long for the pests to find the trap. It won't get every one of them, but it will decrease the number. Once they go in, very few will find their way back out.

Ad

By Harlean from Hot Springs, AR

Comment Was this helpful? 8

Comments

Anonymous
June 2, 20161 found this helpful
Top Comment

That sounds like a great idea for bees. Thank you. As for ants, we had them in armies after the hummingbird feeders
and we made "moats" for each feeder and have never had ant problems since, and it's been about 5 years now these moats have worked. I got the "moat" solution on Utube.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
June 2, 20161 found this helpful
Top Comment

You can also coat the pole or wire that holds the feeder with Crisco. It has to be Crisco. Ants won't cross it and the sun doesn't melt it.

Reply Was this helpful? 1

June 9, 2013

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.

Ad

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.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

Comments

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 18, 20131 found this helpful
Top Comment

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.

Ad

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.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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. 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.

Reply Was this helpful? 1

By 2 found this helpful
August 11, 2015

After several years of trying everything possible, I've found that liberally applying vegetable oil all over the shepard's crook and the feeder hanger itself keeps ants away. Nothing toxic, messy, or unsightly, and the ants don't like it!

Comment Was this helpful? 2
Read More...

By 1 found this helpful
July 31, 2014

To prevent ants on hummingbird feeders, use a dryer sheet on the wire supporting the feeder. It works great!

Comment Was this helpful? 1
Read More...

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 11 found this helpful
April 25, 2011

How do I keep ants out of my hummingbird feeders?

By JERRY from Lampasas, TX

Answers

April 26, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I usually will spray the pole I have mine hanging on with vegetable oil spray. They usually won't be able to climb it then.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 4, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

I spread Vaseline on the hook and up the chain and I also have a ant molt keep it filled with water it should not touch anything close to where the ants can reach the feeder like leaves.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
September 7, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I feed about 300 hummers everyday. I go thru about five gallons of feed a day. Ants and bees are a real problem. I hang all my feeders on sheppard hooks. About one foot up from the ground I use axle grease smeared on the pole for about a foot. Product is about 4ft from the feeders. Axle grease is unaffected by heat so even if it's 105 the grease stays in place. I have red ants, black ants, fire ants, carpenter ants and one I don't have a name for. If you do this be sure to wear throw away gloves. And yes I have a large bee problem. So many they killed one of my dogs. I have another solution for bees but unless they are bad and I mean to where I couldn't go near the feeders without bee gear on good luck. Me, I use a shop vac to knock them down. The bees are being managed and the hummers are happy. Every year my hummers return by the hundreds.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 14, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I use just a dab of axle grease smeared around the hanger. If you don't have any I'm sure someone you know would be glad to stick some in a baggie for you. The larger the ants the longer the smear. Make sure it goes all the way around the hanger.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
August 18, 2012

I have the Perky-Pet type of feeder that mounts on a post, or with suction cups to a window. How can I keep ants away from the feeder? It only takes the ants a few hours to find the feeder, and the only thing I can do is change the nectar, clean the feeder, and remount it.

By Richard

Answers

August 20, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hi! I use Vaseline around the holes of the feeder, it keeps ants away as well as yellow jackets. The only thing is it does melt so just replace frequently!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
July 16, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

Be careful that the vaseline can't melt into the feeder, it can cause the hummingbirds to get sick, remember it is a petroleum product. Better to put it around the container part.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
August 27, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used spray vegetable oil on top and hanger ants don't seem to like the oil

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 6, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Please reconsider. Hummers land all over the feeder and hooks. Please NO VASELINE. 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. They also land on shepards hooks and 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. They can't get it off their feathers and it will lead to hypothermia and death. Plus, most of these items will melt in the heat making goo run all over the place. Please don't use these items.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

July 3, 20120 found this helpful

Is there a way to keep ants out of the hummingbird feeder? Is there an ant-proof feeder?

Thank you.

By Kathy

Answers

October 6, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

Please NO VASELINE. 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. They also land on shepards hooks and 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. They can't get it off their feathers and it will lead to hypothermia and death. Plus, most of these items will melt in the heat making goo run all over the place. Please don't use these items. Hummingbird land not only on the feeder, but on the wires and hooks. Please reconsider.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Answer this Question...

July 12, 20120 found this helpful

How do I get rid of ants from a hummingbird feeder?

By Sally

Answers

July 12, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

It is called an ant trap or oil cup and it hangs between the feeder and whatever you have the feeder hanging on. Ant traps are filled with oil and you should be able to find one wherever you find hummer feeders. 10W30 or some such is the best choice as ants can walk short distances on water.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 6, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Please do not use any oil products near a hummingbird feeder. The ant moats are to be filled with water. Please NO VASELINE. 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. They also land on shepards hooks and 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. They can't get it off their feathers and it will lead to hypothermia and death. Plus, most of these items will melt in the heat making goo run all over the place. Please don't use these items.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...
Load More
Related Content
In This Guide
Categories
Home and Garden Gardening Birds & Bird HousesAugust 19, 2011
Guides
More
🎄
Christmas Ideas!
🎉
New Years Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/12/11 16:12:31 in 3 secs. ⛅️️ ⚡️
Loading Something Awesome!