When attempting to attract hummingbirds, you might find yourself with an unwanted ant infestation instead.
Feeders filled with sugar water attract hummingbirds. But sometimes not-so-welcome guests like ants crawl into hummingbird feeders and create problems.
One of the ways to keep ants out of your hummingbird feeder, that you don’t want to use, is insecticides. Even the tiniest amount of the chemicals found in these type sprays can kill a hummingbird.
As alternatives, there are simple & natural ways to keep ants and other bugs out of your hummingbird feeder that you can safely and easily use:
Install a Copper Ant Moat
One of the best ways to keep ants out of hummingbird feeders is to install an copper ant moat. There are also plastic ones available, however our customers have, universally, noted they don't work nearly as well as the copper ones.
Ant moats serve as a barrier for ants, taking their attention away from the nectar inside the feeder.
While you could make your own ant moat, you ultimately have two options; buy ant moat or buy a feeder with ant moat installed.
Consider hanging the hummingbird feeder from a fishing line
One smart alternative to coating the hanging rod with a lubricant is to hang the hummingbird feeder using a fishing line, which is usually too thin and slippery for ants to traverse. This eliminates the need to coat the hanging material with a substance that could have an adverse effect on the hummingbirds.
It’s important to use a strong fishing line that can support the weight of your feeder filled with nectar.
Make sure your feeders don’t leak
Always remember that the reason ants try to get to your hummingbird feeder is because of the sugar water. If your feeder has a leak and is dripping nectar, it’s similar to pouring gas on a fire.
Before you know it, there could be hundreds of ants trying to get to the sweet nectar.
Stopping a leak is sometimes as simple as just tightening a loose part. Other times, there is a crack, or you own a cheap hummingbird feeder, and you will need to buy a replacement.
Keep in mind that heat makes nectar expand. In this case, you may see sugar water coming out of a feeder port. If you live somewhere with extreme heat and this issue becomes a problem, then you need to try and find a spot to place your feeders that is slightly shaded.
Place the feeder over water
No matter how strange or irrelevant it may sound, the positioning of your feeder is a top priority. If you have a fountain or a general body of water in your yard, then you should hang your feeder over that.
This will prevent ants from crawling towards the feeder as ants will stay out of the water. Hanging your feeder over a body of water will discourage ants because they can’t stand the feeling of water.
Clean the feeder every few days
One of the best ways to keep ants out of a hummingbird feeder is to ensure that it’s clean. Nectar on the outside of the feeder is more likely to attract ants, so it’s important to wipe down the exterior surfaces regularly.
If you’re using an ant moat, be sure to empty it often, add fresh water, and dispose of any dead insects that are trapped inside.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to create a safe and welcoming environment for hummingbirds while keeping ants and other pests at bay and these are the top ways to keep ants out of your hummingbird feeders.