Not only will you get to see these beautiful little birds, you'll have beautiful flowers too! Some hummingbird feeder owners tie either bay or mint leaves around the suspension cord leading to the hummingbird feeder. Previously I had some plastic ones, and in our sunlight, they eventually became brittle and cracked. Question: My ant moat does a fine job of keeping out crawling ants, but I find my feeder plagued with flying ants. Sometimes, these industrious ants also create a bridge of ants over the water and cross over. They certainly like my red bee balm. Before you move the hummingbird feeder to another location, you should also adjust your setup to prevent a recurrence of the ant problem. 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. The sprayed side should be on the top or facing up. Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 05, 2016: I hope so. Since these models are pressure-based, they are usually effective in keeping ants away. Answer: That is a great idea, thanks for sharing that. I then sprayed the string with WD-40. As you may have witnessed, once they come to the feeder, the ants come by the thousands and are capable of eliminating a noticeable portion of the hummingbird’s dinner. All you have to do is apply it each springtime and that’s it! To stop leakage, hang the devices in a less-than-breezy area and stow them away in rough conditions. It turns out there are about 22,000 different types and we have our fair share here in Brazil. I used red electrical tape. No, but it's effective. by Clay Thompson - Jul. If you don’t keep the bees and wasps away from your hummingbird feeder, you’ll end up seeing fewer hummingbirds in your lawn and many more bees and wasps. Lucy said products designed to keep ants and squirrels away from her bird feeders range in price from $7 to $25, all way more expensive than a little Vicks or WD-40. BugSnub has taken ant moat design to the next level. They can be aggressive and territorial. By purposely selecting certain flowering plants, you can encourage hummingbirds to visit your garden. We will also throw in a few tips from people who have found creative solutions to this common problem. Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 07, 2017: I will try this when we go back to our cottage this summer. FYI. I done this two months ago and no more ant problems since. Question: I have tried two different hummingbird feeders, and they both leak. A simple feeder like the Opus Glass Hummingbird Feeder requires the birds to be in flight while drinking the nectar. This tiny bird has the ability not just to fly forward but also backward. Your birds may at first wonder what the heck this new contraption is. if you are in a moderate to hot climate, I recommend your giving it a try. So far this year we haven't had ants on our hummingbird feeders, but last year we did. 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. There is no way that ants can cross a large body of water. While this article is mostly focused on keeping ants away from your hummingbird feeder, it is worth mentioning that bees can also be a nuisance. The feeders have been moved around on different branches of the trees but the persistent pests keep finding them. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 07, 2018: Thank you for confirming that. I refuse to let my hummingbird feeders get overrun with the little blighters, so I came up with a solution to the problem. At a whopping 4.2% of its body weight, it makes ours at 2% seem tiny by comparison. You can either get a hummingbird feeder with a built-in ant moat, attach a guard or moat to your existing feeder or make your own. This could include adding an “ant moat” or using a slippery fishing line to suspend the feeder. Question: Does it matter what size the plastic lid is as long as it is sprayed and hung correctly? Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 07, 2016: Never a truer word was said, need necessitates change. Thank you. You're right it is annoying! We will cover some of the most popular methods and recommend a few products. Just like flying insects, many varieties of ants will be interested in the sugary taste of hummingbird nectar. Thanks for putting it on your blog, I hope it will be an asset to both of us. I'll be looking for some of the plants on your list to help attract these birds. Many hummingbird aficionados use fishing line to suspend their feeders. Each time you add new feed to the hummingbird feeder, wipe down the exterior to remove any built up sugar residue. Thanks for throwing your idea into the basket of things to try to get those ants away from the hummingbird feeders. While hummingbirds are much larger, successive bites from a swarm of ants can be enough to deter even the most nectar-loving hummingbirds. Proportionally, hummingbirds have a large ratio of brain mass to body mass than humans. How to Keep Ants Away from Hummingbird Feeder? 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. I suspect that as the weather continues to warm up, we'll need to try your clever solution. Thanks for the suggestion and your kind words. Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 22, 2016: Wow, Mary, this is fabulous. I'm going to put this on my blog, which should get you some exposure. Let's look at their shortcomings. Now make a bend in the wire leaving about 1.5 inches. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 22, 2016: Ants don't only spoil picnics, lol. Answer: I would try it and see. Hummingbirds rarely visited my feeder anyway. First of all, ants will steal the nectar. BugSnub has created an upside-down moat that uses a food-grade gel to prevent ants from accessing the feeder. Since most ants reach a hummingbird feeder from the suspension line or hook, a baited ant moat is very effective at preventing the critters from reaching the feeder. I do like to keep trying until get to a satisfactory conclusion. 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. One popular hummingbird feeder that doesn’t have yellow is the Bolite 18006 Hummingbird Feeder. We’ve talked to a number of experts on the matter and they universally conclude that adding oil is a bad idea. You are so lucky to have a lot of hummingbirds. No more ants in feeder. You could almost compare their chirps and vocalizations to our Yelp and Twitter reviews. Here are 6 ways to keep ants out of your hummingbird feeders. Below is a list of some common flowering plants that attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. I'm going to give the plastic lid a try next time I refill the feeder. But sometimes not-so-welcome guests like ants, … And, the gel won’t dry, collect leaves, or spill. It is a little cup or trough, at the base of the hanging mechanism, that is filled with water. As you investigate, you still see nectar in the feeder. My husband made us a moat for our hummingbird feeder to keep ants out of the nectar for just pennies! This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional. My hummingbirds don't mind the smell at all but the ants sure do! They work great for any liquid food or fruit you set out. Hummingbirds are able to warn other hummingbirds about potential dangers. When a hummingbird comes into contact with an oiled feeder, they will spread that oil over their wings while preening. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 27, 2018: Well that's a new one I hadn't heard before. Here at my home, we see them on the bougainvillea and both the cashew and the mango trees. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 06, 2016: Sometimes I am like a dog with a bone and won't give up easily. Your solution is very innovative. The owner of this website does not guarantee offers on this site and all offers should be viewed as recommendations only. 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. I use a clear plastic moat that I bought from a "bird shop". But, then the hummingbirds suddenly stop making appearances. I hope some of these solutions will help you. Wrap old shoe lace around hanging feeder cable. Regarding keeping away wasps and flying ants from hummingbird feeders, I was told to put cooking oil around the necter holes on the feeder. Question: I only use natural cleaners in my home. Related Article: 12 Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders. At one point I had small wasps which hounded my hummingbird feeders preventing the birds from getting to a feeding station. 8, 2010 12:00 AM The Arizona Republic. 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. Here’s why. This is to support the lid. Do you have any ideas? 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. If the unit is leaking, can you return it to the place you purchased it from? 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. A piece of wire (I used a flexible and plastic-coated wire, but a wire coat hanger would work.). It is a gorgeous, but late summer bright red bloomer. Include adding an “ ant moat does a fine job of keeping out crawling ants, last! Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on September 09, 2018: you! 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