If you are a hummingbird enthusiast, you probably went to great pains to design a beautiful area that hummingbirds will flock to, replete with flower beds, birdbaths, and strategically positioned hummingbird feeders. Making homemade nectar for your hummingbird feeders may possibly bring you joy.
Sugar is a favorite of everybody, right? both hummingbirds and ants, as well as people. But we don’t want the little insects to take over the hummingbird feeders in our yard. Hummingbirds eat ants, but they like to separate their salty and sweet foods. If ants gain over, they will cease consuming the honey from the feeders.
When ants get into your garden, they can make it difficult for you to draw in hummingbirds and they can also attract additional ants, which can lead to an ant infestation. We’re going to demonstrate today how to prevent ants from accessing your hummingbird feeders.
But how can a hummingbird feeder be kept free of ants? Even so, is it possible? It is, indeed. Here are the most effective methods for deterring ants.
Don’t use feeders with yellow accents
Yellow attracts wasps and is often used in hummingbird feeders to give port holes the appearance of flowers. Ensure simplicity. Hummingbirds will be drawn to a solid red feeder without wasps getting a particular welcome.
By the way, you may read articles on creating false wasp nests to scare away wasps (some from reliable sources). According to the hypothesis, wasps are very possessive of their territory and won’t construct a nest where one already exists. It’s a good idea, but there is no hard evidence that it works. Maintain your cash in your wallet.
Hang your hummingbird feeders with fishing line
Use fishing line to create a tightrope challenge for the ants. Fishing line acts as an excellent barrier for ants trying to climb to the hummingbird feeder since it is naturally very thin, even too thin for ants, and slippery.
Make sure the fishing line is sturdy enough to support the weight of your feeder and a hummingbird resting while consuming nectar from it. The hummingbird feeder may then be hung wherever you choose with the fishing line.
Fishing line is rather simple to locate in hardware or craft stores, camping or fishing supply stores, or even online. Make sure the fishing line you choose can sustain at least 2 pounds of weight and is long enough to reach the height at which you will hang your feeder or feeders.
After firmly fastening the line to the feeder, attach the other end to the pole from which you are hanging the feeder.
Install an ant moat
Installing an ant moat is one of the greatest ways to prevent ants from entering hummingbird feeders. An ant moat can be installed or bought separately.
Ant moats act as a physical barrier for ants, diverting their focus from the honey in the feeder. Although you could create your own ant moat, your best bets are to buy ant moat or a feeder that already has one built in.
Simple yet incredibly efficient method to keep ants away from hummingbird feeders is an ant moat.
Consider purchasing a hummingbird feeder like the Ultra Hummzinger that already has an integrated ant moat. You may purchase an ant moat that quickly attaches to your feeder if your feeder does not already have one.
The Hummers Galore Ant Moat and the Droll Yankees Ant Moat are two excellent examples. The water in the ant moat will evaporate more quickly throughout the summer, so top it off as needed.
Move the feeder often
By moving your hummingbird feeder to various locations throughout your yard, you can keep ants on their toes. This will stop ants from returning since they frequently leave a smell trail to inform their colony of a tasty food source, like sugar water.
Choose a couple locations to hang the feeder, and then change it around sometimes. Hopefully this will scare the ants away when used in conjunction with a couple more of our other feeder-related recommendations.
Hummingbirds can usually adjust and will be able to discover the new feeder site, but be careful not to merely pick up and move the hummingbird food supply for no reason when you move the hummingbird feeders to keep ants away.
Make sure to space feeders at least 7 feet apart as the ants start to march and it’s time to change your feeder. And spread out your feeders across your garden rather than moving one closer to another merely for the sake of moving it.
If you have any little trees, they’re a wonderful spot to look because hummingbirds prefer to have places to perch or hide nearby. Additionally, avoid placing them next to other birdhouses or birdbaths.
See this informative post for more information about hummingbird winter habitats.
Give essential oils a try
A research that was published in Pest Management Science found that many essential oils are particularly effective at keeping paper wasps and yellow jackets away.
However, as I stated at the outset, avoid using these or any other oils on your hanging or pole equipment. However, it could assist to decrease the issue if you set up a little saucer or dish with some of these oils close by.
A blend of clove, geranium, lemongrass, and rosemary, as well as a mixture of clove, geranium, lemongrass, and rosemary, were discovered by researchers to totally prevent the attraction of worker bees.
Growing these plants and herbs next to your feeders wasn’t addressed in the study, but you may give it a shot. Even just the scent will be pleasing if you plant them in a flowerpot.
Find and stop the leakage
Ants will be drawn to the aroma of your homemade hummingbird recipes if your feeder is leaking. Ants are drawn to all sweet food sources like magnets.
This appears to be the most frequent cause of hummingbird feeders turning into ant feeders. Look for any slits or leaks in your feeder and plug them immediately. Make careful to tighten up any loose pieces on your feeder if there are any.
Ants will invade your feeder once they get drawn to the tasty water that is pouring. Small leaks happen because of the nectar’s propensity to swell in hot conditions and drop.
Weather that is windy may also cause leaks. As the weather wears down on the feeders, older feeders tend to leak more. Clean your feeder frequently if it’s filthy. Invest in a hummingbird feeder with a good ant moat if yours is beyond repair.
Use an ant guard
Sometimes, these resourceful creatures manage to construct a bridge over an ant pond to reach a hummingbird feeder. Yikes! (However, quite smart as well.)
You might wish to buy an ant guard, which includes the mild pesticide Permethrin, to prevent these super ants from climbing over one another in the direction of your hummingbirds’ nectar and feeder.
Permethrin is safe for use near birds, people, and pets while deterring ants. When your ant moat isn’t quite doing the job on its own, here is a little more protection.
A stronghold with hummingbird feeders sounds like a castle with an ant moat and an ant guard!
If your ant problem feels out of control, this is definitely safe for your garden and worth a try. We always advise attempting natural remedies before turning to store-bought pesticides.
Try a bug-deterring feeder
Hummingbird feeders with ant and other insect-repelling characteristics are available to purchase.
Saucer feeders are a wise choice for a number of reasons.
They won’t leak if you don’t overfill them, which reduces a bug’s access to the honey and reduces the delicious aroma that draws bees. Additionally, they prevent bugs from accessing the nectar, allowing hummingbirds with their long tongues to savor every last drop. They are very simple to clean.
Bee defenses and ant moats. Some feeders have bee and ant protection integrated right into the design.
Make careful to maintain a water level in the ant moat. Ant moats are effective because they drown ants that manage to get into your feeder. Lack of water is bad.
The port holes are covered by bee protectors, which are thin plastic coverings. They have a nearly pinprick-sized opening that keeps bees out but doesn’t stop hummingbirds from sipping.
In the event that your bird feeder does not already contain an ant moat or bee guards, you may buy them separately at wild bird stores or other places that sell bird feeders.
Place the feeder over water
The placement of your feeder is quite important, despite how odd or trivial it may sound. You should hang your feeder over any fountains or other bodies of water that you have in your yard.
Ants won’t approach the feeder since they won’t be tempted by the water, therefore this will stop them. Because ants can’t handle the sensation of water, hanging your feeder over a body of water will deter ants, albeit it won’t totally keep them away.
Ants can’t swim very well. Using a clamp pole design is one ingenious technique to hang your hummingbird feeder over a body of water.
The Gray Bunny Heavy Duty Deck Hook is one example of a strong clamp pole design. Because this clamp pole weights 3.3 pounds, it can withstand the weight of bigger hummingbird feeders in your yard.
Clean your feeder often
Seriously, treat the hummingbirds to a gourmet eating experience. In order to stop ants from entering and taking over your feeder, it’s crucial to maintain it very clean. Additionally, it’s crucial to prevent the nectar from spoiling and to provide your hummingbirds with pure nutrition.
When you refill hummingbird feeders with nectar, you should clean them down each day. As part of a ritual, spend a little period of time cleaning your feeder both inside and out… and making sure there are no leaks before adding fresh nectar. When you replenish your moat, clean it as well.
The simplest approach to prevent ants from entering hummingbird feeders is to maintain them clean, just like you would with any other object. Don’t you think ants like a tasty, gooey mess? with perhaps one exception. (I’ll elaborate on that later.)
Another justification for routine cleaning of your feeder? insects other than ants. Because other insects will also invade your bird feeder.
There are also many additional bugs. In addition to being huge admirers of hummingbird nectar, bees and wasps also have a significant edge over our cunning ant friends: they can fly. Additionally, your feeder can draw hornets, flies, and moths. Nobody desires to have all these bugs in their bird feeders.
Ensure simplicity. Look for feeders with basic structures or elements that can be taken apart that are simple to clean. It’s incredibly convenient that many Happy Gardens feeders can be completely dismantled for simple cleaning and that they include port brushes to keep each small feeding station clean for our feathered companions. Clean your feeder with warm water and non-toxic dish soap before wiping it dry.
If you’ve missed a few days or notice that the nectar has caked on, you may soak the feeder in a solution of hot water and dish detergent to remove any buildup.
Try adhesive tape
Applying sticky tape that is vulnerable to ants treading on it is an aggressive and successful approach to keep ants away from hummingbird feeders.
Make sure the tape is wrapped around the wire or pole that your feeder is hanging from, with the tape’s gum side facing outward. Ants will quickly become impaled on the gum and unable to access the feeders’ feeding ports at all.
The biggest disadvantage of this approach is that, throughout the course of a hot summer, you will need to often replace the sticky tape. After a few bright days, the tape’s ability to stick and smell will often lose its effectiveness.
Due to the fact that ants’ exoskeletons are constructed of chitin, a slippery and oily material comprised of cellulose polymers, ants may not be particularly deterred by sticky tape. Always get sticky tape from the strongest brands.
Try bay leaves or mint leaves.
Ants are therefore similar to children in that they enjoy dessert but not as much as they do vegetables. Use plants to fend off ants.
Bay leaves have a strong aroma that repels ants, so placing or rubbing bay leaves on or around your hummingbird feeder can effectively keep them away. Another all-natural ant repellant you may use to safeguard your feeder are mint leaves.
Put some bay or mint leaves on your hummingbird feeder if it hangs from a pole, or attach the leaves to your fishing line. To prevent ants from taking the chance, it is even better to plant mint close to where you would be installing your hummingbird feeder.
Mint is relatively simple to cultivate in a garden. In actuality, mint has a life of its own. Get some mint seeds and plant them where you want them to flourish, but not overgrow—in a windowsill, a herb garden, or even a small pot on your patio—to keep ants away from your hummingbirds.
To thrive, mint only need fertile soil and plenty of moisture. The plant does like some shade, but it may still thrive in direct sunshine as long as the soil is kept nicely hydrated.
Consider a shaded location
A location with some shade is ideal for placing a hummingbird feeder. The place has to be exposed to some light since hummingbirds may have problems finding it if it’s too dark.
Any feeder in a region that receives excessive sunshine will have its nectar heat up excessively, rendering it unattractive to hummingbirds. If the feeder is constructed of plastic, hot weather may cause it to expand, and this expansion may cause leaks.
There are methods for determining what would constitute the best location for partial shade. Visibility is the essential factor to take into account. Hummingbirds won’t be able to see your feeder if an item, such as a shrub, tree, or ornamental pillar, covers more than half of it.
Make sure any items covering your feeder don’t obstruct the area hummingbirds need to get the nectar. Bees should not be allowed near hummingbird feeders, therefore this is also an excellent idea.