The best fix to how to keep ants out of hummingbird feeder is to use an ant moat, trap or guard.
You can purchase a hummingbird feeder with a built-in ant moat, make your own, or attach a moat or guard to your existing feeder.
How to Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird Feeder
We review options on how you can keep flying ants out of your bird feeder today since ants are a common problem at feeders among other pests such as wasps and bees.
Ant Moats, Traps and Guards
If you lack a hummingbird feeder with an ant moat already pre-built-in like the Ultra Humminzinger, then you can add one by attaching it between the feeder and the hanger rod like the ant trap in the image below.
You only fill the moat with water and once ants go in, they won’t be able to come out – and most importantly, they cannot get to your hummingbird feeder.
A reviewer who has once tested the produce said “With this installed above the hummingbird feeder, I no longer dump out ants each time I clean the feeder. Works as said.” – Jess
A lot of people (me included) found Trap-it to be the best out of all the various types of ant traps in the market because it is easy to use and clean.
Now, make sure you empty the dead ants often and keep the moat clean of debris if you have lots of ants or else a “bridge” will be created and the ants will use it to cross over the water to your feeder and wreck havoc!
Make Your Own Hummingbird Feeder Ant Moat
If you’re someone who loves to get their hands on things then this is an option for you.
Here is a simple, clever and cheap ant moat you can make yourself with just a couple of items:
Here are the cup hooks that are mentioned in the video for attachment.
Next, you screw one into the cork bottom where it will attach to the hummingbird feeder.
The second hook will screw through the cap (see below about using a different cap type), which serves as your ant moat, and into the other end of the cork.
You will then attach to your hanger rod and fill the moat with water.
For Larger Hummingbird Feeders
The video below shows another method of making a homemade ant moat using washers, j-bolts, coupling nut and a plastic spray-paint can top which has 2 “compartments” to help prevent leaking at the attachment points.
You can probably get similar caps on top of other aerosol-type products like hairspray or cooking spray.
This design is a little sturdier than the one demonstrated in the above video and will hold more weight if you own a larger hummingbird feeder.
If you discover that the cap leaks through the hole, you can always seal it off with some glue, candle wax or even silicone sealant.
See the next design below the video on using “O” rings as an alternative for sealing.
Tin-Can Ant Moat with O-Ring Seal
Here is yet another design using a tin can for the moat attached with two threaded hooks through a turnbuckle.
Metal washers, a nut and rubber “O” rings are used via the can to make it water-tight without needing to use sealants like glude.
This design is courtesy of the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.
Using Petroleum jelly, Grease, Oil, Etc. on the Hanger Rod Above the Feeder
With no ant trap or moat, some have tried applying Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly), oil and grease to the hanger rod which can deter ants from traveling to the feeder.
But, most people do not like the stress of reapplying it, it’s messy and is bad for birds if it gets on their feathers.
Plus, when it gets hot, these substances tend to melt and ooze down toward the feeder; thereby making a mess.
Avoid using duct tape or other adhesive material, like Tanglefoot, because it too can result in problems for birds if they come in contact with it.
Problems with Ant Moats in Dry Climates
If you live in an area that is extremely arid with low humidity, you may discover a tradional ant moat may not be as effective because the water evaporates too fast.
The moat dries up before you can refill it, is no longer classified to be “moat-worthy” and the ants simply climb around it to access your hummingbird feeder.
What to do now?
Ant Guard with Ant Repellent
There is a fix to this!
Rather than use a water moat, you should attach an ant guard that contains an ant repellent to keep them off your avian feeder.
The Perky-Pet Ant Guard contains permethrin, an insecticide commonly used to treat scabies, for mosquito control and found in products for pets and to spray on clothing to repel insects.
Note: It is safe for use around birds, humans and most other mammals as well. However, it is toxic to fish and cats. So ensure your cats don’t get a hold of the guard and as a precaution, I wouldn’t hang it over a fish pond.
Giant Ants, Tiny Ants Too Many Ants; Ant, Ants Everywhere!
If your ant problem still persists because you have so many ants, i.e, the moat fills up too fast with ant bodies and a bridge has formed, then you may need to take further steps explained below to rid yourself of these pesters.
Leaking Nectar from Feeders Attract Ants
Ants have always been and will forever be attracted to sweet nectar, especially if you have a leaking feeder.
Leaking is generally caused by the nectar heating up in the sun during the hot period of the day.
To get rid of this problem, move your feeder to a cool or a shady spot or attach an “umbrella” to shade the feeder.
A square piece of cardboard will do better than nothing.
“You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Moat“
To keep flying ants out of your hummingbird feeder, you might try using a larger moat if you have a big (big ants and/or many of them) ant issues.
I read where someone used a plastic bundt cake pan attached to the shepherd’s hook as their ant moat – now that’s a serious moat!
Move the Feeder
If you have tried everything you know and these little fellas won’t just quit. It is time to move the feeder to a different location to solve your ant problem once and for all.
You may not even need to move it far. Simply try a different spot and you may be pleasantly surprised with fewer, or even (cross-your-fingers) no ants!
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we look to answer some popular questions you might have.
Will Ants In Hummingbird Feeder Hurt The Birds
Ants will prevent hummingbirds from coming back to your feeder if the problem persists. Even though birds naturally eat insects for protein, the hummingbird does not like the taste of ants. It’s like they by instinct know that these particular insects can make them ill.
Do Ants Bother Hummingbirds
Yes, it keeps hummingbirds and other nectar-loving birds away from your feeder and once they don’t come again, more ants will move in to feed – You certainly don’t want that now, do you?
How To Keep Flying Ants Out Of Hummingbird Feeder
One way to achieve this is by:
- Take a bottle/can-lid with two rings
- Run a wire through the hole up to feeder
- Make sure the hole from where the wire has gone through fully sealed
- Now fill between outer and inner rings with water
- If the inflow of ants is large, you can use a bigger lid with a large and deep moat
How To Keep Bugs Out Of Hummingbird Feeders
- Buy a dripless feeder
- Add an ant moat
- Buy a feeder with bee guards
- Move the feeders to a new location
- Take the feeders down for a few days
- Keep things cleans
- Avoid the color yellow
- Hang wasp traps
Now that you have watched how to keep ants out of hummingbird feeder Youtube video and know the various means of ridding your hummingbird feeder of these disturbers, ensure you share and subscribe.