Tips on How to Keep Ants Off Hummingbird Feeder

One of the most frustrating things that can happen when you are trying to enjoy watching hummingbirds at your feeder is finding ants crawling all over it. Not only are they a nuisance, but they can also be harmful to the birds. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep ants away from your feeder.

Why Ants Are Attracted to Hummingbird Feeders?

Macro Photo of Five Orange Ants

There are two primary reasons ants are attracted to hummingbird feeders: the sugar water and the Hummingbirds themselves. The sugar-water is, of course, a major food source for ants. But beyond that, ants are also attracted to the hummingbirds themselves.

While we may think of them as gentle creatures, hummingbirds can be quite aggressive when it comes to defending their food sources. They will chase away other birds, insects, and even small mammals that come near their feeders. In the process of doing this, they can end up dropping bits of sugar water which attract ants.

So, how can you keep ants off your hummingbird feeder? Here are a few tips:

Ways to Get Rid of Ants in Hummingbird Feeder

1. Use an Ant Moat

Ant Moat

One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep ants away from your hummingbird feeder is to use an ant moat. These are small reservoirs that you can place on top of your feeder that need to be filled with water. The ants will be attracted to the sugar water in the feeder, but they will not be able to cross the water-filled moat to get to it.

2. Use Ant Guards

Ant Guards

Ant guards are devices that fit around the hummingbird feeder and provide a barrier that ants cannot cross. There are a variety of different types of ant guards available, so you will need to find one that is compatible with your specific feeder.

3. Use Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum Jelly

Another way to keep ants away from your hummingbird feeder is to apply a barrier of petroleum jelly around the feeding ports. The ants will be unable to cross the jelly and reach the sugar water.

4. Keep Your Feeder Clean

Clean Feeder

One of the best ways to prevent ants from being attracted to your hummingbird feeder in the first place is to keep it clean. Wipe down the feeder regularly with a vinegar solution to remove any sugar water or other residues that might be attracting ants.

5. Use Insecticidal Soap

If you are having a particularly bad problem with ants, you can try using insecticidal soap. This will kill any ants that come in contact with it and should help to reduce the overall population in your yard.

7. Set Up a Trap

ant Trap

If you have ants in your yard, you can try setting up a trap to capture them. This can be as simple as placing a piece of cardboard or wood on the ground and putting some sugar water on it. The ants will be attracted to the sugar water and will crawl onto the cardboard. You can then move the cardboard to a location far away from your house to keep them from coming back.

8. Use Natural Repellents

Natural Repellents

There are a few natural repellents that you can use to keep ants away from your hummingbird feeder. Cinnamon and cayenne pepper are both effective at deterring ants. You can sprinkle these around the base of the feeder or mix them into the sugar water itself.

9. Hire an Exterminator

If you have a serious problem with ants and none of the above methods are working, you may need to hire an exterminator. They will be able to identify the type of ant you are dealing with and develop a specific plan to get rid of them.

10. Move Your Feeder

If you find that no matter what you do, ants keep finding their way to your hummingbird feeder, you may need to move it. Ants are capable of crawling long distances in search of food, so even if you think your feeder is far away from any potential ant colonies, they may still be able to find it.

Final Thoughts

Keeping ants away from your hummingbird feeder does not have to be difficult. There are a variety of different methods you can use, and the best one for you will depend on the severity of your problem. Be sure to try a few different things until you find something that works.

Dale Garrett

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing his 15 years of my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at dale@chipperbirds.com for assistance.