Hummingbird feeders are an effective way to attract these small charming birds to your home. Hummingbirds like to feed on the nectar from flowers, but commercial hummingbird feeders are typically filled with sugar water.
This sweet substance often attracts ants, which can be very detrimental to your bird feeding efforts. One of the best ways to keep ants out of hummingbird feeders is to use an ant moat, guard or trap.
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.
Keeping ants out With a Moat
A moat is one of the most popular solutions for a hummingbird feeder that’s plagued with ants. The moat is simply a cup that hangs above the feeder.
When ants crawl down from the hook to get to the feeder, they first reach the moat. They will fall into the reservoir, where they’ll be trapped.
If you choose to use a moat, make sure you’re keeping up with its maintenance. You need to regularly empty the moat of dead ants and debris, which can make a bridge for ants to cross on top of the water.
Keep the moat filled with fresh water so mosquitoes can’t breed in the stagnant water.
If you live in a dry climate, you may find that evaporation makes a moat an unsuitable choice. If you can’t keep the moat filled, it’s best to try another method of prevention.
Install an Ant Guard
There are times when an ant moat does not work. Believe it or not, some types of ants are so desperate to reach your nectar, they will make a bridge with their bodies to cross the water!
An ant guard is installed above your hummingbird feeder, similar to an ant moat. Inside of the ant guard is a light insecticide called Permethrin that repels ants. Using Permethrin inside of an ant guard is nothing to worry about. It is safe around birds, people, and pets.
Make a DIY ant moat!
Buying an ant moat is inexpensive, but for those of you that love homemade crafts, it’s easy to make your own! Many items can be used in the construction of a DIY ant moat, including various types of lids and small cups.
Anything that holds a small amount of water that you can insert a hook through will work. Just don’t forget to seal with hot glue! A quick search on Pinterest reveals many more DIY ant moat projects!
Hummingbirds do not like ants. Though they may eat some other insects, ants are not among their food sources. Once hummingbirds discover ants around their feeders, they will start avoiding them.
With the right precautions, you can maintain a safe hummingbird feeder that’s ant-free for your feathered friends.