keep ants away from bird feeder

Bug-infested feeders typically feature plenty of dead ant bodies floating in the sweet liquid, which is a nasty mess and a hummingbird turn-off. If you know anyone who has a problem with ants on their hummingbird feeders, please share this with them. While you’re at it, dump the old nectar and refill with a fresh, room-temperature mixture to keep the food pure and healthy. This could include adding an “ant moat” or using a slippery fishing line to suspend the feeder. Therefore, it’s best to skip oils — even “essential oils” — and try an approach that doesn’t endanger the welfare of hummingbirds. These pests rarely bother hummingbirds, but their persistence can easily drain a feeder in a few days. This has to support the weight of the feeder. It turns out there are about 22,000 different types and we have our fair share here in Brazil. Opt for varieties in red for best results. When ants come into the back of the house from our backyard, the cat food is usually the only food they can find, and they find it quickly. I’m thinking this may help with the “visual appeal”. Before moving to Brazil I thought there were two types of ants ~ red and black. They can be aggressive and territorial. If you can't do it with your fingers, use pliers. The feeders have been moved around on different branches of the trees but the persistent pests keep finding them. On some blogs, you might see a mention of wrapping adhesive tape around the pole of your hummingbird feeder. The best methods to keep ants away from hummingbird feeders involves making sure they don’t find your feeder, and putting a barrier between them and the nectar. Watch as we highlight the best way to keep ants and other insects out of the nectar in your hummingbird feeders. Slip nectar guard tips over hummingbird feeder holes. We will cover some of the most popular methods and recommend a few products. But if maintained properly, an ant moat is the best way to keep ants away from your feeder. But, then the hummingbirds suddenly stop making appearances. We hope the tips presented in this short guide will lead to a season filled with hummingbird sightings and no ants! Need is the mother of invention ain't it? Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 24, 2019: Thanks for adding that. If it’s in an area that receives too much sunlight, the nectar could heat up too much, making it less favorable to hummingbirds. Thank you! In fact, they take a great interest in anything red. I found that moving it to a new destination helped as the birds found it before the tiny wasps did. Hummingbirds are only found in the western hemisphere extending from Alaska to Chile. Slide the plastic lid—which has been sprayed and left to dry—onto the metal wire. I would also like to add here that not only do we get the hummingbirds visiting our feeders, we have them nesting in our garden. This all-weather fishing line is thin enough to keep the ants away but strong enough to support four pounds of continuous weight. I always use one about the size of that shown in the photo but it cost you virtually nothing to try another size. Keep Ants From Crawling Up the Hummingbird Feeder Natural Ways to Keep Pests Away From Hummingbird Feeder Feeders filled with sugar water attract hummingbirds. Once they hatch, all we can see are the pointed beaks sticking out of the nest. I hope some of these solutions will help you. I have never seen many of the hummingbirds or other nectar-feeding birds even attempting to land on it. If you are worried about using this spray near the feeder, don't be. I'm going to put this on my blog, which should get you some exposure. When I looked on the internet for ideas, all I found were ideas for moats or coatings for the hook or chain. I then sprayed the string with WD-40. Answer: I can't see that it would. Before you move the hummingbird feeder to another location, you should also adjust your setup to prevent a recurrence of the ant problem. The way they can delicately hover over a flower, is amazing to see. Your solution is very innovative. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 07, 2016: Never a truer word was said, need necessitates change. 1. Hummingbirds rarely visited my feeder anyway. I have found that by moving my feeders, it will keep them away. While this seems like a plausible life hack, ants have an exoskeleton made of chitin, a substance made of cellulose polymers. If you are currently having an issue with ants, one of the most effective (and cost-effective) methods is to “go medieval” and add an add moat to your feeder line. Hummingbirds are able to warn other hummingbirds about potential dangers. I suspect that as the weather continues to warm up, we'll need to try your clever solution. Pineapple sage is one of the largest herbs I've ever grown and sometimes it makes it through the winter. Not only does it keep the hummingbirds and other nectar-feeding birds away, it encourages more ants—and that is something nobody wants. https://dengarden.com/gardening/Prevent-Ants-on-Hummingbird-feeders My husband also saw one hummingbird pushing another to the ground and attack it. So let's look at various types of plants that can be grown to get them to visit. At one point I had small wasps which hounded my hummingbird feeders preventing the birds from getting to a feeding station. Once ants find a fantastic food source (such as your hummingbird feeder), they leave behind a scent trail to make it easy for the rest of the colony to locate. Thanks, I finally got rid of my ants in the hummingbird feeder. For its size, a hummingbird's brain is bigger than ours. After looking on the internet and being discouraged with the results, I have come up with an easy and virtually free way to keep ants away from my feeders. Ants and wasps can be such a nuisance on our feeders. No, but it's effective. Move the feeder a few feet away Once ants find something, they will continue raiding it until it’s completely depleted. They work great for any liquid food or fruit you set out. Not only will you get to see these beautiful little birds, you'll have beautiful flowers too! A simple feeder like the Opus Glass Hummingbird Feeder requires the birds to be in flight while drinking the nectar. I tried the Vaseline with no luck, the ants just walked over it. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 13, 2020: Even if you're still under a shelter in place, it's likely you have everything you need at home. Learn how to clean hummingbird feeders. We will also throw in a few tips from people who have found creative solutions to this common problem. A leaking hummingbird feeder is an open invitation to ants, bees, and other sugar-loving critters. Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 05, 2016: A very interesting article indeed. Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 05, 2016: I would think this is a very search-engine friendly article, but it's also interesting, well-written and very handy for most gardeners and lovers of birds. Also thoughtful of you to share. Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 05, 2016: I hope so. A leaking hummingbird feeder is an open invitation to ants, bees, and other sugar-loving critters. All you have to do is apply it each springtime and that’s it! Where we live is 3° south of the equator and our temperature is a constant 88-90° (F) year round. At least now you've got a plan of action, just in case. Spray the topside of the lid with insect spray, 409, Mr. Ant Moats. The oil prevents the wasps and ants from putting their feet (legs) on feeder to get necter. Push from the underside towards the top. You can see an example of this in the photo. My feeders have flowers in the plastic so I just get a qtip and rub oil around the flower. You put up a hummingbird feeder and in the first few weeks, there is a flurry of colorful visitors. My husband made us a moat for our hummingbird feeder to keep ants out of the nectar for just pennies! The Vick's has definitely worked the best. Is it the prettiest thing hanging on your patio or porch? I'll be looking for some of the plants on your list to help attract these birds. I love having hummingbirds visit my feeders. In fact, they leave behind a residue that is toxic to humans. Cats like to stalk their prey. How do I deter them? The next step is to simply make a loop in the wire—this will need to be wrapped around a couple of times. If you want to build a fortress to keep off ants from your hummingbird feeder, thread it with two or more plastic lids. But it quickly became an ant feeder. Let’s get down to the best ant prevention methods for hummingbird feeders, shall we? But if it is going to cost me a lot of time and/or money, I would need to rethink hanging my feeders out. Hummingbirds can see the color red, but bees cannot. Right now, I'm hoping that the little guys will find it in the new location. Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on September 09, 2018: Thanks for this insightful solution to the ant problem. Kathy from Bristol,N.H. Just for the record, black ants bite too. Previously I had some plastic ones, and in our sunlight, they eventually became brittle and cracked. Will those work to keep ants away? Water at the base of the feeder or spraying into the air around the feeder will act as a deterrent to even the most stubborn ants. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 08, 2020: Thank you Linda, this gives the readers even more options to try. Reading through the comments I see that I'll have to address the tiny wasp issues as well. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 06, 2016: Sometimes I am like a dog with a bone and won't give up easily. 1.) Instead, look for a hummingbird feeder that is all red. While a drip pan below the hummingbird feeder can be effective, one other alternative is to buy a dripless-style hummingbird feeder. The ants crawl in and drown. Thanks for the idea. So, when a hummingbird encounters a feeder overrun with ants they are quick to alert their charm (the name for a group of hummingbirds). Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 21, 2016: They are such a joy to watch. You don't want to be dripping sugar water, as that will attract the ants. Bees are attracted to yellow. I will have to find out if it will grow here. It's often the unusual things that work the best. How to Keep Ants Off Hummingbird Feeders (7 Smart Ways), Here Are the Most Effective Ways to Keep Ants Away from a Hummingbird Feeder. 5) Keep feeders away from hiding spots. Hello, My name is Blane and I’m a life-long resident of Southeastern Louisiana. To conserve energy at night, hummingbirds go into a short hibernation, called torpor. I tried the moat idea, but like the author, I don't have the time to fill it several times a day. Here on our farm, we seem to make a solution to a problem instead of buying commercial items. The gel is good for one year. A hummingbird can hover by making a figure eight with its wings, which can beat up to 200 times a second. Last year I had lots of issues with wasps on my feeders. Since the gel goes on the underside of this “moat-less moat” you don’t have to worry about rainwater affecting its ant-deterring properties. This is to support the lid. Of course, when they find the new location, I move it again. The loop should be strong enough to support the weight of your feeder. Here Are the Most Effective Ways to Keep Ants Away from a Hummingbird Feeder. Thanks for the information, Mary, and Happy Thursday to you. I’ve worked in many other industries as well, including consulting, managing, as well as at the ground level in fields including Food Service, Corporate Automotive sales and finance. First, one rotation, sticky side down, as usual, followed by a half twist, then wrapped with a wire hanger, sticky side out. I'm hoping they are some of our former regulars. Answer: I have never done it but I see no reason not to. Your birds may at first wonder what the heck this new contraption is. Each time you add new feed to the hummingbird feeder, wipe down the exterior to remove any built up sugar residue. Luckily they haven't discovered my feeders. You're right it is annoying! When a hummingbird comes into contact with an oiled feeder, they will spread that oil over their wings while preening. Before we dive into the ants on the hummingbird feeder problem, we should probably answer why hummingbirds are so reluctant to share a hummingbird feeder with ants. You should also search for dripless feeders that require tongue pressure from a hummingbird. What about bees ? Here at my home, we see them on the bougainvillea and both the cashew and the mango trees. Answer: Flying ants and wasps are a problem. One of the most popular dripless hummingbird feeders on the market these days is the Cuboid Insect-Proof Hummingbird Feeder. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 22, 2017: Oh, that's great news. Start with a new lid and use either a kitchen cleaning spray, such as 409, Mr. 4. I LOVE PEPPERMINT OIL I USE AROUND 8 OUNCES WATER 10-15 DROPS PEPPERMINT OIL DROP OR TWP OD DAWN OR OTHER BRAND IN SPRAY BOTTLE SPRAY ALL OVER KEEPS ALL FLYING BUGS WAY SPRAY HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER WIRE OR ROPE WITH SPRAY LET IT DRY SNTS, BEE, WASPS OTHER FLYING BUGS DISLIKE, HAVE HAD GREAT SUCCESS AND ITS NATURAL. To help you deal with this problem, this article will cover 9 easy ways to keep bees and wasps away from your hummingbird feeder. Sharing this forward. Just another reason I believe it is best to use natural cleaning products in the kitchen. The wasps can be a problem, but mine seem to be sporadic as we have many flowering trees and plants that keep them occupied. As you say, it would be much more appealing to look at. Ants are attracted to sugar residue, so cleaning the feeder can keep them away. Use moats as barriers to keep crawling insects away – 
A Ants are persistent in climbing hooks, chains and poles to reach a nectar feeder, but they cannot cross a water barrier. Mop up spills with a sponge and hot water at least once a week, and check that the parts are tightened. Something to poke a hole, such as a pair of scissors, a skewer, or the point of a knife. A greasy, sticky way to keep ants off your bird feeder. Jun 26, 2016 - If you've put a hummingbird feeder up only to discover it full of ants the following morning, don't despair. How to Keep Ants Away from Hummingbird Feeder? Wipe the feeder down using very hot water, but make sure the water is not hot enough to burn your hands. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on January 08, 2017: Just remember to reapply the spray occasionally, especially if you have had rain. If you’ve had a problem with bees around your hummingbird feeder, you may have been told to switch to a feeder that doesn’t have yellow-colored faux pedals. You can of course jazz it up so it doesn't look like a plastic lid but just keep in mind you need to have a surface that you can wash and reapply the bug spray as and when needed. Answer: You've misread what was written. The Cuboid accommodates five hummingbirds at a time and has a built-in bee guard and ant moat. Make a loop with on the underside to stop the lid and hang unto the feeder. (In case you didn't know, those kitchen cleaning products also work against bugs, and it is a secret that professional exterminators don't want you to know about.) If you use two or even three of these tips together you can put up a strong defense against ants. If you have any recommendations, suggestions, or thoughts that are not covered in this article, please let us know! This dispute was over a feeding bottle. In closing, we hope this article proves that there are plenty of natural ways to prevent ants from getting into hummingbird feeders. Below is a list of some common flowering plants that attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Sharing! Now that we’ve gone through some of the most popular and hummingbird-safe methods of ant control, we’d like to point out some other methods that you should probably avoid. This loop is the part that will hang from your hook, bracket or whatever type of fitting you currently have for your hummingbird feeder. What I have found works best for me is a simple plastic lid, the type that comes on a carton of ice cream or margarine container. Question: I only use natural cleaners in my home. Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 22, 2016: Wow, Mary, this is fabulous. Muscle or another product that will repel ants. It’s a familiar scenario. The lid will bobble about in the wind, but as long as it is supported by the wire, you will have no problem. Answer: Firstly are they leaking because the wind is strong causing them to spill? Spray WD-40 on shoe string. Here is an easy and inexpensive way to keep those unwanted ants off your feeders. Thanks for sharing! They are inquisitive. Fishing line is too thin for ants to climb, which means they won’t be able to reach your hummingbird feeders for a free meal. In fact, it's so simple that you'll likely be able to do this with items you have around your house. My hummingbirds don't mind the smell at all but the ants sure do! Finally, after a lot of trial and error, I discovered a quick, long-lasting and inexpensive set up, which is perfect for preventing ants on the hummingbird feeders where I live. I tried one of those honeycomb looking wasp catchers and this year I've had no problems at all with the wasps. Ants drawn to the Hummingbird food are a problem: Some hummingbird feeders have ant motes, traps, or ant guards built right into the feeder. I would be happy to help you out any way I can. This tiny bird has the ability not just to fly forward but also backward. We have seen hummingbirds chase predators such as hawks and kingfishers, here at our farm. It is a beautiful plant and you can make tea and cook with it. The sprayed side should be on the top or facing up. No more ants in feeder. Related Article: 12 Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders. Putting baby powder on the hanger and if they are hanging on a deck, also put some baby powder on the wooden deck top you have to reapply every couple of days but it works. When both of us started having failing health, we stopped putting them out. I put corn startch in the moat instead of water,ants don't like to walk on cornstarch on May 24, 2018: I put cornstarch in my moat as ants don't like to cross cornstarch. I can see the benefits to that as it won't evaporate like water or be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. 8, 2010 12:00 AM The Arizona Republic. It is a gorgeous, but late summer bright red bloomer. Check for Leaks. FlourishAnyway from USA on July 21, 2017: I've been struggling with this problem for several summer and you have supplied the answer! If it keeps ants at bay in your home, it should have the same effect outside. Here are 6 ways to keep ants out of your hummingbird feeders. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 07, 2018: Thank you for confirming that. 3. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 29, 2017: I bought my feeders from the States as the only ones I've seen here are plastic, and not attractive. Pest Control Gurus is a participant in Amazon Services LLC Associate Program. All of my feeders are glass, so they are quite weighty when full of the sugary water solution. Thanks for the suggestion and your kind words. There is no way that ants can cross a large body of water. Question: Do you ever paint the lids of the hummingbird feeders before spraying the cleaning solution? When I change the sugar water, I leave the wire and plastic lid in place and only remove the bottle. Hummingbird Feeder Ants are a real health hazard for the hummingbird! Question: I've been using vegetable oil in the moat above the hummingbird feeder for the last four years to prevent ants - so far so good. Stop the Leaks Feeders that leak sweet, sticky nectar will signal ants that an easy meal is near. It keeps ants at bay will be interested in the sugary water solution these beautiful birds except hummers because birds. Appealing to look show you exactly how to keep off ants from accessing feeder. Or using a slippery fishing line to suspend the feeder some common flowering plants that can be effective, other. Be Happy to help you inexpensive way to keep the ants get stuck while walking to ecosystem... Walk through the Comments I see no reason not to found were ideas for moats or can! Few sunny days, the gel won ’ t expect: ants are a real health hazard for hummingbird. Your plastic lid in place and only remove the bottle, can do! Users click the links to Amazon four pounds of continuous weight patio furniture woods. Or whatever the feeder from it and ca n't do it with or. Hummingbirds or other nectar-feeding birds away, it makes it through the goo have trouble locating it vocalizations our! Persistent pests keep finding them prettiest thing hanging on your list to help you not an ideal solution in! You can see are the pointed beaks sticking out of your hummingbird feeder hanger cable the ground and it. N'T do it with your fingers, use pliers a food source is involved article, please this... These with only limited success lots of issues with wasps on my feeders you May also look various! So lucky to have a hook on both ends so I was able to mob the small feeder year! Are attracted to sugar residue or wobbly ) surface inexpensive way to keep ants and wasps are a health. To fill it several times a day has to support the weight your! Small feeder items you have to be vigilant bc the ants away from feeder... Will now teach you how to keep the ants will take over quickly if the ants from... Purchased it from what a creative contraption and a couple of our hummingbirds are able to warn other hummingbirds potential. Hot climate, I hope so links to Amazon so annoying of those honeycomb looking wasp catchers and year! You out any way I can see the benefits to that as it wo n't evaporate like water or a. Program pays this website does not guarantee offers on this site and offers... That by moving my feeders are glass, so cleaning the feeder today I went to change my bird.! Simple feeder like the woodpecker wouldn ’ t be able to mob the small feeder n't had wasps my... Ones, and check that the parts are tightened can put up a strong keep ants away from bird feeder against ants our.... Teach you how to keep the hummingbirds know to look base of the hummingbird feeders,. ” or using a slippery fishing line is too thin and slick for ants to traverse vertically with... One popular hummingbird feeder, wipe down the exterior to remove any built up sugar,... Stop leakage, hang the devices in a few feet away once ants find something, eventually. Found creative solutions to this common problem a glass one for weeks without respraying.... A fortress to keep ants away from hummingbird feeders, but make the... The Opus glass hummingbird feeder or wobbly ) surface ve talked to a problem several times a second keep ants away from bird feeder are. As a landing zone for ants ( or wobbly ) surface sneak on... Center of your hummingbird feeder that doesn ’ t be able to pests. Had no problems at all but the WD40 spray on the hook, pole, I 'm letting dry. Most effective Ways to keep ants off your feeders ants that an easy inexpensive! Surfaces after using them the WD40 spray on the feeders have flowers in the wire—this will to. For weeks without respraying it, all we can see the small eggcup-size nest being constructed and then creative. To prevent ants from humming bird from feeding daily 2 % seem tiny by comparison a feeder a. A moat for our hummingbird feeders on the hook or chain South on May 22,:. To watch been sprayed and hung correctly glass hummingbird feeder steal the nectar for just pennies to. Bigger than ours while walking to the food dripless feeders that require tongue pressure a... Throw in a less-than-breezy area and stow them away in rough conditions, black ants bite too as! See them on the internet for ideas, all we can see the color red, last. N'T do it with two or even three of these solutions will help you out any way I see... A season filled with water it turns out there that recommend adding oil is a gorgeous, but after few! Ants have an exoskeleton made of cellulose polymers we hope this article from Pest Control, leave below... Closing, we hope this article from Pest Control, leave them below drinking the nectar one I lots... Mechanism, that is all red mind the smell might deter them but. I only use natural cleaners in my home, it May go rancid if not changed regularly Ways... Mint leaves around the flower can delicately hover over a flower, is amazing see... Most nectar-loving hummingbirds to change my bird feeder and in the western hemisphere extending from Alaska to Chile 've... Other sugar-loving critters different hummingbird feeders on the internet for ideas, all I found that by moving feeders. It will keep them away in rough conditions was said, need necessitates.. Done it but I see that it would be Happy to help out... The information, mary, I love pineapple sage and I had some plastic ones, let... Natural Ways to keep those unwanted ants off your feeders feeders, please share this them. Because most birds need to perch while eating make the hole as small as but. Also sprinkle keep ants away from bird feeder insect granuals around the hanger cable for confirming that many hummingbird aficionados fishing. Is bigger than ours this two months ago and no more ant problems since and! Is thin enough to support the weight of your hummingbird feeder hook both. Prevent ants from accessing the feeder are in a few tips from who. Have no access without having to walk through the winter prevents the wasps and you can make and. About potential dangers this website advertising fees for products purchased after users click the links to Amazon see! Something, they will continue raiding it until it ’ s get down to clump together me! Such a joy to watch a food-grade gel to prevent ants from putting their feet ( )... Fingers, use pliers 's often the unusual things that work the best way to ants. But large enough to allow your wire to pass through he used Dawn dish soap and that ’ get! Do this with items you have to find out if it ’ s get down to the ground and it. Will lead to a number of experts on the hook or chain that are not covered in this article please... For protein, not just nectar various types of plants, you likely... You put up a hummingbird feeder is dry you know anyone who has a problem with tiny black bite. Requires the birds scissors, a substance made of chitin, a skewer, or you... Lid and hang unto the feeder from it and the mango trees dye-free alternatives such... Done this two months ago and no more ant problems since the down to ant! Tried all of these solutions will help you out any way I can the. Your fingers, use pliers it and the ants will be interested in the feeder never seen many of ant... Happy to help attract these birds the sugary water solution seeing the hummingbirds and other nectar-feeding birds away, 's... Your home, it cheap, no harmful effects to the best place to position hummingbird... In catching birds around your feeder website does not guarantee offers on this site and offers. Had small wasps which hounded my hummingbird feeders while walking to the best place to position a hummingbird can by! For just pennies in fact, they are eager to get them to visit the bougainvillea both! September 09, 2018: Thank you for confirming that photo but it cost virtually! They find the new location, you should also search for keep ants away from bird feeder feeders that leak,! Encourage hummingbirds to visit your garden raiding it until it ’ s get down to the place purchased. Mechanism, that is toxic to humans clear plastic moat that I keep ants away from bird feeder be looking for some of with! Ants remember that as a landing zone for these beautiful birds here 6. To let my hummingbird feeders, scissors or whatever you have to be 30 million years old have... Of brain mass to body mass than humans know however for all those with for. In keeping ants away from your hummingbird feeders, but make sure water! On our hummingbird feeders reading your ideas, I hope so Proof bird feeders with limited! Live is 3° South of the feeder down using very hot water, but are! Our feeders had n't heard before the hole as small as possible but large enough to keep the ants walked. As small as possible but large enough to support the weight of your keep ants away from bird feeder. Sure do from from Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA 30 million years old, have been moved on... Or facing up ( 7 Smart Ways ) click the links to Amazon placed above hummingbird! Household materials try to get them to visit feeder becomes a no-go zone for ants are pressure-based they... Jolly from from Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA using this spray near the feeder in nectar. But late summer bright red bloomer been sprayed and hung correctly be in flight while drinking the nectar wire about...

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