How To Keep Ants Away From Hummingbird Feeders
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Ants can quickly put out a hummingbird feeder and also discourage hummingbirds and other nectar-feeding birds from the feeder. More ants can be also invaded by this act. It is quite possible to keep away the ants from your hummingbird feeder. In this article, we will discuss the ways to keep ants out from the feeder.
i. Install an ant moat
Installing an ant moat is the best option to keep the ants away from a hummingbird feeder. A person can simply buy an ant moat and install it in his feeder. The ant moats act as a barrier and prevent ants from entering inside the feeder. However, you can make your own ant feeder but you can also buy a new one or buy a bird feeder with it.
Installing an ant moat is the best option and really effective for keeping away the ants from a hummingbird feeder. You can also consider buying a hummingbird feeder, which has a built-in ant moat. The example is an ultra Hummzinger.
You can also attach an ant moat in a feeder if you have a feeder without an ant moat. The Hummers Galore Ant Moat and the Droll Yankees Ant Moat are the best examples of ant moats. You should refill your ant moat quickly during the summer season because the water dries up faster in this season.
ii. Find and stop the leakage
If you had made your own hummingbird feeder and it is leaking, then you should consider it because ants easily get attracted by the scent of it. Ants can easily attract like a magnet to all sweet sources of food.
A leaking hummingbird feeder is the most common reason that attracts ants towards it. If your feeder has any slit or leakage, then immediately stop it and make sure that there is not any loose part in your feeder that can attract ants.
If you find any loose parts, immediately tighten up these parts. The ants will invade your feeder if they found sweet water dripping from it. The nectar can expand and drip during hot weather, which is one of the major reasons for leaking.
Leaks can also occur due to windy weather. The feeders get affected by weather and old feeder are more affected by this. You can also buy a hummingbird feeder with an ant moat if your old feeder is broken.
iii. Hang the feeder of fishing line
If you live in an environment where the climate is not suitable for ant moat, the method of hanging the feeder of fishing is useful. The slippery fishing line cause problem in reaching the hummingbird feeder because it is a hard time gripping a thin line.
The texture of most fishing lines is very slippery. It is very difficult for hummingbird feeders to cross the fishing line and get access to the nectar. Make sure that the fishing feeder that you selected for your feeder should be strong enough that can hold the feeder securely.
The fishing line act as a deterrent for ants because the fishing lines are too thin and they try to attempt a balancing act for it. Don’t use vegetable oil, petroleum jelly, or any sticky substance on the fishing line to smear material.
iv. Place the feeder over water
However it sounds quite strange, but the position of the feeder is a top priority. If a fountain or general water source is found in your yard, consider hanging your feeder over the fountain. As ants stay out of the water so the method can prevent ants from reaching the feeder.
However, the method is not completely useful to keep away the ants but it can discourage ants from reaching the feeders. Ants are not able to swim in the water. So hanging the hummingbird over the water body is the best way to keep ants away from a hummingbird feeder.
You can use a clamp pole design to hang the feeder over the water body. The Gray Bunny Heavy Duty Deck Hook is the best example of a sturdy clamp pole design. The weight of a clamp pole is around 3.3 pounds. The design is quite sturdy for large-sized hummingbird feeders in your yard.
v. Try adhesive tape
Applying some adhesive tape is another effective and aggressive way of keeping the ants away from hummingbird feeders. The tape exposes the ants that try to step onto the feeder.
While applying the adhesive tape, make sure that the gum should be applied on the outer side, around the wire or pole on which the feeder is hanged on. When ants try to reach the feeder, they are stuck on the gum and can’t reach the feeding ports of the feeder.
The method has also a drawback that if you apply the adhesive tape, you have to constantly replace the tape during the summer season. It is because the tape loses its adhesive and scent properties after a few sunny days.
The exoskeleton of ants is made of chitin, which is a slick and oily substance made of cellulose polymers, and the ants not be deterred all that much by this tape. You should always try to buy the strongest tape.
vi. Consider a shaded location
An area having partial shade is the best place for the positioning of a hummingbird. The hummingbirds may have trouble finding the feeder if you place it in a dark location so the area should have been exposed to some light.
If the area is exposed to too much sunlight, the nectar heats up too much and becomes unappealing to hummingbirds. The feeder can be expanded by hot weather because it is made of weather and it may start leaking by the expansion.
You can make partial shade for the feeder in several ways. Visibility is the main thing to consider while making shade for the feeder. The hummingbirds may not see the feeder if more than half of the feeder is covered by any object such as a tree, shrub, bush, and any decorative pillar.
You should also make sure that the space is not overtaken by any object because the hummingbirds need to consume the nectar. The idea is very useful for keeping bees away from the feeders also.
vii. Make it slippery
You can also apply any oily liquid such as Vaseline on the outer side of the feeder, which would also help in keeping away the ants. The oily substance works as a deterrent for ants. You can replace Vaseline with Vicks VapoRub if you don’t have the former.
Ants usually don’t prefer to walk across a sticky surface and they also don’t like the smell of Vicks. Thus the ant moat is very effective.
However, the method is somewhat risky, because if the hummingbird touches the Vaseline its wings become sticky that may cause trouble for the bird, and become uncontrollable during flight. Thus, you should not grease the entire feeder and only grease the parts that are reachable for ants.
viii. Move the feeder around often
Sometimes, when you change the location of your feeder, you may find fewer ants in the feeder, which is surprising. However, you don’t have to move the feeder far but only change the spot. The ants left a scent trail behind them after finding a fantastic source of food, so that more ants can reach there and eat food.
Fortunately, hummingbirds are the symbol of adaptability. So if you move the feeder far away from its location, it may throw off the hummingbirds that may have adapted for feeding at a specific location.
You should find some locations in your garden, where ants are not frequent. Also, ensure a particular time when to move the hummingbird feeder.
ix. Clean the feeder on a daily basis
If you clean your feeder on a daily basis, it surely reduces the problem of ants. This method also protects the hummingbirds against the invasion of ants and it only took 30 seconds to clean your feeder.
You should clean your feeder on a daily basis. It prevents the invasion of ants and also keeps hygiene in the feeder. You should also check regularly that the feeder is either leaking or not. Leaking the feeder increases the chances of an ant invasion in your feeder.
x. Try bay leaves
Bay leaves act as an excellent repellent for the ants, so they can be used to prevent the feeder from the invasion of ants. You can tie the leaves or mint leaves in the pole in which the feeder is hung.
The covering of the pole by bay leaves is very effective and acts as a repellent for ants. Ants and other insects do not like the pungent scent of bay leaves and stay away from them. You can also use various essential oils extracted from bay leaves, myrcene, and eugenol to repel the ants from your feeder.
xi. Test insecticide sprays
You should spray neem oil or any other insecticide around your feeder. Don’t keep the insecticide in the ground to avoid harm to the birds. You spray an insecticide in the trunk of the tree if the hummingbird feeder is hung on a tree located in your yard.
The method is very effective and prevents the feeder from the invasion of ants and other insects from invading your hummingbird feeder. However, there are some risk factors also with this method. For example, some insecticides are very dangerous and can cause harm to birds or other organisms even to humans also.
Some insecticides are safe such as MDX Concepts Organic Home Pest Control Spray, which is natural and not dangerous for children and pets.