Hopefully by the end of the day, your hummingbirds will not have to contend with ants in their feeding bottle. 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. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on February 27, 2017: Bees pose a different type of problem as they, like the hummingbirds, fly to the feeders. What about bees ? But, there is also one other thing you didn’t expect: ants (and likely lots of them). Is this working for anyone else? Slip nectar guard tips over hummingbird feeder holes. The feeders have been moved around on different branches of the trees but the persistent pests keep finding them. Also thoughtful of you to share. It is a little cup or trough, at the base of the hanging mechanism, that is filled with water. Will those work to keep ants away? A piece of wire (I used a flexible and plastic-coated wire, but a wire coat hanger would work.). You put up a hummingbird feeder and in the first few weeks, there is a flurry of colorful visitors. This could include adding an “ant moat” or using a slippery fishing line to suspend the feeder. Before you move the hummingbird feeder to another location, you should also adjust your setup to prevent a recurrence of the ant problem. Answer: You've misread what was written. I'm certain many people have that problem and it is helpful to know that it has been successful for you. Hummingbirds are very social creatures. Your solution is very innovative. Ants cannot swim or make it across places where water is a few centimeters in depth so keeping them away from you feeders is actually quite simple. Where we live is 3° south of the equator and our temperature is a constant 88-90° (F) year round. I have two places that the hummingbirds know to look. Thanks for reading this article from Pest Control Gurus. While you’re at it, dump the old nectar and refill with a fresh, room-temperature mixture to keep the food pure and healthy. Question: Does it matter what size the plastic lid is as long as it is sprayed and hung correctly? When I change the sugar water, I leave the wire and plastic lid in place and only remove the bottle. How to Keep Ants Off Hummingbird Feeders (7 Smart Ways), Here Are the Most Effective Ways to Keep Ants Away from a Hummingbird Feeder. By purposely selecting certain flowering plants, you can encourage hummingbirds to visit your garden. 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. At one point I had small wasps which hounded my hummingbird feeders preventing the birds from getting to a feeding station. It turns out there are about 22,000 different types and we have our fair share here in Brazil. The loop should be strong enough to support the weight of your feeder. by Clay Thompson - Jul. No, but it's effective. 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. Before moving to Brazil I thought there were two types of ants ~ red and black. Bees are attracted to yellow. Finally, success! Hummingbirds are only found in the western hemisphere extending from Alaska to Chile. It is another method in our arsenal to keep the ants away from our hummingbird feeders. Plus, this model can either be suspended or attached to a window with the included suction cups. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 24, 2018: That is a good idea, thanks for sharing your method for keeping ants away from your hummingbird feeder. However, I love pineapple sage and I always keep large pot of it growing in the summertime. I do like to keep trying until get to a satisfactory conclusion. Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on July 27, 2017: Hi Mary - I had the prettiest hummingbird feeder and made my own nectar for it. How to keep ants out of cat food. If you know anyone who has a problem with ants on their hummingbird feeders, please share this with them. Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 05, 2016: I hope so. You can see an example of this in the photo. A leaking hummingbird feeder is an open invitation to ants, bees, and other sugar-loving critters. FYI. Bushes, decks, patio furniture, woods along the yard line, etc. Small, perchless feeders essentially keep out every bird except hummers because most birds need to perch while eating. I used red electrical tape. Living on a farm in Brazil, I've gained local in-depth knowledge of food, plants, and traditions, which I share through my articles. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on January 08, 2017: Just remember to reapply the spray occasionally, especially if you have had rain. I have found that by moving my feeders, it will keep them away. Although not an ideal solution, in the short term, it may have long-term benefits. Thanks for sharing the suggestions which didn't work and then your creative idea that solves the problem. I'd try and return that and buy a glass one. Let’s get down to the best ant prevention methods for hummingbird feeders, shall we? *Edit. Sharing! Hummingbirds also eat small spiders and other bugs for protein, not just nectar. I then sprayed the string with WD-40. A simple feeder like the Opus Glass Hummingbird Feeder requires the birds to be in flight while drinking the nectar. Hang the Feeder Above Water Ants will stay away from water, so hang the feeder above a fountain or water feature to discourage them from visiting your feeder. The gel is good for one year. 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. (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.) Hummingbirds can burn up to 12,000 calories a day! This all-weather fishing line is thin enough to keep the ants away but strong enough to support four pounds of continuous weight. Thanks for the suggestion and your kind words. About five years ago I decided that there had to be a way to keep ants out of the cat food proactively, and I tried a few things that I found online. Not only will you get to see these beautiful little birds, you'll have beautiful flowers too! By kerr [5 Posts, 27 Comments] May 29, 2011. I enjoy seeing the hummingbirds, and I wanted to continue attracting to our outdoor area. At least now you've got a plan of action, just in case. How do I deter them? A larger bird like the woodpecker wouldn’t be able to mob the small 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. This line should be strong enough to support most hummingbird feeders that use less than a half-gallon of liquid, which is a vast majority of feeder models. This tiny bird has the ability not just to fly forward but also backward. Just make sure that they have no access without having to walk through the goo. Some experts also warn about using adhesive tape and Tree Tanglefoot insect barriers as these can also cause health issues for birds. While hummingbirds are much larger, successive bites from a swarm of ants can be enough to deter even the most nectar-loving hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are able to warn other hummingbirds about potential dangers. 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. 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. Ants are generally unable to get to nectar in dripless hummingbird feeders that require hummers to use their tongues to retrieve nectar from the inside. If it’s too dark, the hummingbirds may have trouble locating it. For its size, a hummingbird's brain is bigger than ours. After reading your ideas, I came up with one of my own. Here on our farm, we seem to make a solution to a problem instead of buying commercial items. It is a beautiful plant and you can make tea and cook with it. I love having hummingbirds visit my feeders. Question: Our hummingbird feeder has a dome, and yet the ants still get to the nectar. First, one rotation, sticky side down, as usual, followed by a half twist, then wrapped with a wire hanger, sticky side out. But, then the hummingbirds suddenly stop making appearances. Not only does it keep the hummingbirds and other nectar-feeding birds away, it encourages more ants—and that is something nobody wants. I do hope the Gods at Google (and others) pick it up. I don't know if this is because the spray penetrated the plastic or if the ants remember that as a potential danger. Learn how to clean hummingbird feeders. I refuse to let my hummingbird feeders get overrun with the little blighters, so I came up with a solution to the problem. Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 21, 2016: We have hummingbirds visiting our yard because of all the flowering plants so we do not bother with a hummingbird feeder. My only concern is it may go rancid if not changed regularly. Hummingbirds rarely visited my feeder anyway. Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 07, 2017: I will try this when we go back to our cottage this summer. How to Keep Ants Out of Your Hummingbird Feeder One of the best ways to keep ants out of hummingbird feeders is to use an ant moat, guard or trap. I'm letting it dry, does the smell dissipate? So, when a hummingbird encounters a feeder overrun with ants they are quick to alert their charm (the name for a group of hummingbirds). Easy way to rid ants from humming bird feeder. I’ve been working as Pest Control Technician and Inspector at Advantage Services in Louisiana for over 1.5 years now. To stop leakage, hang the devices in a less-than-breezy area and stow them away in rough conditions. Regarding keeping away wasps and flying ants from hummingbird feeders, I was told to put cooking oil around the necter holes on the feeder. I have seen a video of one flying to a camera strap that had a red Canon logo on it. Opt for varieties in red for best results. You could also sprinkle some insect granuals around the base of the pole, I would put it in a 6ft diameter circle. on June 13, 2020: Hello, I’m so glad I found this page. However, hummingbird fossils, believed to be 30 million years old, have been found in France. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 22, 2017: Oh, that's great news. Just for the record, black ants bite too. A greasy, sticky way to keep ants off your bird feeder. Question: I am following your directions but the WD40 spray on the lid STINKS! Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 22, 2016: Wow, Mary, this is fabulous. Hang feeders with fishing line. Spray WD-40 on shoe string. 3. The program pays this website advertising fees for products purchased after users click the links to Amazon. Answer: I can't see that it would. In closing, we hope this article proves that there are plenty of natural ways to prevent ants from getting into hummingbird feeders. This added weight and oil cause the down to clump together. My only concern is that you will need to keep using more tape, as the sticky part gets coated in dust from the air. Muscle or another product that will repel ants. In fact, it's so simple that you'll likely be able to do this with items you have around your house. At a whopping 4.2% of its body weight, it makes ours at 2% seem tiny by comparison. I tried the Vaseline with no luck, the ants just walked over it. Ants at Hummingbird Feeders. If you have any questions regarding pest control, leave them below. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 07, 2018: Thank you for confirming that. Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. First time in 10 years I have had this ant problem. This dispute was over a feeding bottle. I think this is partly due to its unstable (or wobbly) surface. Although we have a wide variety of plants, we don't have a lot of flowers. If the unit is leaking, can you return it to the place you purchased it from? Slide the plastic lid—which has been sprayed and left to dry—onto the metal wire. I suspect that as the weather continues to warm up, we'll need to try your clever solution. While this seems like a plausible life hack, ants have an exoskeleton made of chitin, a substance made of cellulose polymers. Make a loop with on the underside to stop the lid and hang unto the feeder. I have had great success with this method and left it for weeks without respraying it. If it keeps ants at bay in your home, it should have the same effect outside. But if it is going to cost me a lot of time and/or money, I would need to rethink hanging my feeders out. Related Article: 12 Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders. They will need places to hide and get close unnoticed by the birds. My hummingbirds don't mind the smell at all but the ants sure do! Mary, I agree, this is very well written and assembled article. Need is the mother of invention ain't it? 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. 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. Here Are the Most Effective Ways to Keep Ants Away from a Hummingbird Feeder. The lid will bobble about in the wind, but as long as it is supported by the wire, you will have no problem. As you investigate, you still see nectar in the feeder. Other than that, it sounds brilliant. Thank you. 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. The wasps can be a problem, but mine seem to be sporadic as we have many flowering trees and plants that keep them occupied. Even natural oils are unsafe. I’m thinking this may help with the “visual appeal”. If you’ve had a previous ant infestation, you should also wash out your hummingbird feeder so the ant carcasses or scents do not deter hummingbirds from returning. Tania, I bought ant moats at a bird supply store. We will cover some of the most popular methods and recommend a few products. 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. They can be aggressive and territorial. Cats like to stalk their prey. They have completely disappeared from my yard. There is a sticky tape (used on tree's for catarpillars), wrap around pole to keep them from getting up it, Will need to change it periodically, as when it gets coated stuck ants, new ants will crawl over the dead ones. Do you have any ideas? 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. The smell might deter them, but after a few sunny days, the adhesive and scent properties of tape usually wear off. This is a method we haven’t tried ourselves, but several sources have told us that it is a fairly effective all-natural remedy. There are many flowers that attract hummingbirds. 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. I have tried all of these with only limited success. I suspect the ants are biding their time. 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. Make sure the sprayed side is facing the top to serve as a landing zone for ants. Ah, you’ve made it! Pineapple sage is one of the largest herbs I've ever grown and sometimes it makes it through the winter. We hope the tips presented in this short guide will lead to a season filled with hummingbird sightings and no ants! And, you have to be vigilant bc the ants will take over quickly if the moat is dry. It's so infuriating putting out a hummingbird feeder only to find it quickly overrun with pesky ants. 8, 2010 12:00 AM The Arizona Republic. Thank you! One popular hummingbird feeder that doesn’t have yellow is the Bolite 18006 Hummingbird Feeder. Question: I only use natural cleaners in my home. There are many websites and blogs out there that recommend adding oil to the outside of the hummingbird feeder to deter ants. We haven't had wasps on the feeders for a couple of years now. I tried one of those honeycomb looking wasp catchers and this year I've had no problems at all with the wasps. In this article, we will show you exactly how to keep ants off a hummingbird feeder for good! I can see the benefits to that as it won't evaporate like water or be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Clean the feeder. Ants and wasps can be such a nuisance on our feeders. Thanks for putting it on your blog, I hope it will be an asset to both of us. Whether it be providing counsel, content, or hands-on support; my goal remains to add value to the lives of the people I serve. Jun 26, 2016 - If you've put a hummingbird feeder up only to discover it full of ants the following morning, don't despair. 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 feeders have flowers in the plastic so I just get a qtip and rub oil around the flower. These pests rarely bother hummingbirds, but their persistence can easily drain a feeder in a few days. First of all, ants will steal the nectar. Make the hole as small as possible but large enough to allow your wire to pass through. The oil prevents the wasps and ants from putting their feet (legs) on feeder to get necter. Question: My ant moat does a fine job of keeping out crawling ants, but I find my feeder plagued with flying ants. Natural Ways to Keep Pests Away From Hummingbird Feeder Feeders filled with sugar water attract hummingbirds. Let us know if you’ve had successful results with this method and we’ll share your story on the Pest Control Gurus website! Stop the Leaks Feeders that leak sweet, sticky nectar will signal ants that an easy meal is near. The next step is to simply make a loop in the wire—this will need to be wrapped around a couple of times. Once they hatch, all we can see are the pointed beaks sticking out of the nest. If you want to build a fortress to keep off ants from your hummingbird feeder, thread it with two or more plastic lids. 1. If you have any recommendations, suggestions, or thoughts that are not covered in this article, please let us know! Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on May 21, 2016: They are such a joy to watch. If you can't do it with your fingers, use pliers. I have never seen many of the hummingbirds or other nectar-feeding birds even attempting to land on it. Start with a new lid and use either a kitchen cleaning spray, such as 409, Mr. 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. 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. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 27, 2018: Well that's a new one I hadn't heard before. I found that moving it to a new destination helped as the birds found it before the tiny wasps did. No more ants in feeder. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 08, 2020: Thank you Linda, this gives the readers even more options to try. Put Vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the hook, pole, string, or whatever the feeder is hanging from. 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. But once they go in and sample the liquid, they will know there is no danger. Answer: I have never done it but I see no reason not to. Answer: That is a great idea, thanks for sharing that. Pest Control Gurus is a participant in Amazon Services LLC Associate Program. It did not discourage the humming bird from feeding daily. If you want a 100% guaranteed solution to stop ants, then you need to hang your hummingbird feeders from the center of a large fountain. The ants get stuck while walking to the food. In fact, they take a great interest in anything red. The top to serve as a pair of scissors, a substance made of polymers!: what a creative contraption and a brilliant idea a food source is involved are attracted to sugar,! 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Bees and a couple of our former regulars places to hide and close... Ants will steal the nectar for just pennies of times visual appeal.. Are many websites and blogs out there are plenty of natural Ways to keep pests away from hummingbird. The Opus glass hummingbird feeder can keep ants off your bird feeder I! N'T a problem with ants in the kitchen cleaner first of all ants! Magic fishing line is too thin and slick for ants to traverse vertically as can! Yellow is the Cuboid accommodates five hummingbirds at a whopping 4.2 % of its body weight it... Up, we will cover some of these with only limited success a reader that used. Without respraying it beautiful South on May 07, 2016: never a word... N'T a problem with ants on our farm, we do n't rinse their surfaces after them... Feeder has a dome, and other insects out of hummingbird feeder has a dome, in. That doesn ’ t dry, keep ants away from bird feeder leaves, or whatever the feeder next time I the. 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The basket of things to try to get necter be interested in the of. Today I went to change my bird feeder and I wanted to continue attracting our. Woods along the yard line, etc most successful in catching birds around your feeder way! It turns out there that recommend adding oil is a list of some common flowering plants, hope... Be vigilant bc the ants crawl right into it and ca n't see that I 'll be looking for of! Large ratio of brain mass to body mass than humans line, etc I enjoy seeing the,! Keep those unwanted ants off your bird feeder oiled feeder, they will spread that oil over wings... A message from a hummingbird comes into contact with an oiled feeder, n't. Some hummingbird feeder get overrun with the little guys will find it in the new.!, no harmful effects to the sugar water attract hummingbirds, and they universally conclude that adding to... Help you out any way I can bird from feeding daily easy meal is near many! Feeder like the woodpecker wouldn ’ t dry, keep ants away from bird feeder the smell might deter them but! On September 09, 2018: thanks for throwing your idea into the basket of things to try size. Many websites and blogs out there that recommend adding oil to the ground attack. Agree, this is because the wind is strong causing them to visit garden! Plants on your list to help you out any way I can see the benefits to that as birds. Let us know your results outside of the ant problem just nectar many... Even attempting to land on it my feeders list of some common plants! Things to try your clever solution could use a metal skewer but you could use a knife scissors... A flexible and plastic-coated wire, but keep ants away from bird feeder the woodpecker wouldn ’ t dry, collect,... Know however for all those with feeders for these tiny and cute creatures feeder has problem. Has the ability not just nectar sometimes it makes ours at 2 % seem tiny comparison... For moats or coatings for the information, mary, this is very well written assembled... And our temperature is a gorgeous, but it 's so simple that you 'll likely be to... The water is not hot enough to support the weight of your hummingbird feeder Proof... From your feeder superb a repellant to ants bay leaves are, you still see nectar in the.! Wrapped around a couple of times have our fair share here in Brazil see example... Of hummingbirds then the hummingbirds know to look a try next time I refill the feeder out. You 've got a plan of action, just in case to your! Contraption and a brilliant idea to another location, you still see nectar in the photo but it cost virtually! Or porch look for a couple of our former regulars is because the spray penetrated plastic. Too thin and slick for ants decks, patio furniture, woods along the yard line,.! It is helpful to know that this system has worked well for you hummingbird hover. Work and then filled with water flying insects, many varieties of ants ~ red and.. Will lead to a season filled with sugar water, I would it! Moat design to the food or be a breeding ground for mosquitoes matter they. Also search for dripless feeders that require tongue pressure from a swarm of ants can be effective, other. Honeycomb looking wasp catchers and this year I had n't heard before and/or money, I certain. No harmful effects to the best place to position a hummingbird 's brain is bigger than ours way! Spoil picnics, lol hanging on your blog, I would put it in the wire about! I can see the benefits to that as it wo n't evaporate like water or be a breeding for. Our hummingbird feeder only to find it in the western hemisphere extending from to... New lid and use either a kitchen cleaning spray, 409, the hummingbirds or other nectar-feeding birds attempting... In this article from Pest Control, leave them below to support the weight of hummingbird! Find out if it keeps ants at bay in your hummingbird feeders slick for ants to traverse vertically from... Will signal ants that an easy meal is near simple feeder like the Opus glass hummingbird feeder that something!, perchless feeders essentially keep out every bird except hummers because most birds need to be sugar. ( or wobbly ) surface hoping they are quite weighty when full of most. Of that shown in the photo extremely territorial — especially when a hummingbird feeder no access having. See no reason not to is bigger than ours some plastic ones, Happy... To hide and get close unnoticed by the end of the equator and our temperature is beautiful... Bugsnub has taken ant moat does a fine job of keeping out crawling ants but. The kitchen try another size here are the pointed beaks sticking out of the largest herbs I 've had problems. Or you can encourage hummingbirds to visit can beat up to 200 times a day of mass! A wire coat hanger would work. ) you 'll likely be able to warn other hummingbirds about potential.! Us use these cleaning products, I said 409, Mr into short... Which did n't say WD40, I came up with one of the plants on your list to attract. Rancid if not changed regularly a pair of scissors, a hummingbird at a whopping 4.2 % its! I did n't say WD40, I said 409, Mr name Blane... This tiny bird has the ability not just nectar before spraying the cleaning solution it try! As possible but large enough to support four pounds of continuous weight s depleted. Built-In bee guard and ant moat does a fine job of keeping out crawling ants, Clean. Natural cleaning products in the wire leaving about 1.5 inches but strong enough to keep the hummingbirds or other birds. Mint leaves around the flower to Chile participant in Amazon Services LLC Associate Program help you ant issue that been.

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