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6 Ways to Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird Feeders

Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird Feeder

6 Ways to Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird Feeders

Ants are attracted to sugar and sweetness and since hummingbird feeders are made up of sugar water, they, of course, are going to go straight for the mixture.  Here are 6 ways to keep ants out of your hummingbird feeders.


1.) Stop the Leaks

Feeders that leak sweet, sticky nectar signal ants that an easy meal is near.  If you are placing your hummingbird feeder in direct sunlight this will cause the feeder to expand in the hot sun.  Expansion causes plastic feeders to leak and sometimes crack.  If you have any cracks, replace your feeder.  Maybe try replacing with a glass and brass or glass & metal For leaking see number 2.

Hummingbird at feeder


2.) Change the Location
Changing the location of your feeder is important.  If your feeder is leaking, it could be because you have it in full, harsh sunlight.  So, what is the solution?  If you just said place the feeder in the shade – hummingbirds will not find the feeder they tend to stay out of shade unless they are resting.  The ultimate solution is to place your feeder in partial sunlight. Be sure to clean your feeder well after you have fixed the leaks.

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Moving your feeder a few yards on occasion can also help to deter ants because they like to live close to the food source.  If you are moving your pole a few yards every month the birds will still find the food source but you are making it more difficult for the ants.

3.) Fishing Line


Trilene Fishing Line To Hang Hummingbirdfeeder

Attach fishing line to the feeder and then hang the feeder from the pole.  Fishing line is narrow and slippery.  Ants have a difficult time navigating the line.  It doesn’t mean they can’t but certainly makes it more difficult.

4.)  Use Cooking Oil


Tip: Grease your feeder pole bottoms about a foot up from the bottom with cooking oil.

1.) Take a piece of paper toweling and soak it with vegetable cooking oil.

2.) Rub the bottom 12 inches of the pole that your hummingbird feeder is attached to. Re-apply once a week or after heavy rain.

Do NOT Grease the Feeder

◙ I do not recommend greasing the entire feeder.
◙ I discourage greasing the feeder because the hummingbird’s wings may brush against the oil and transfer the oil to the bird’s wings.  The oil would pick up dirt and debris and make it difficult for the bird in flight.


5.) Create a Moat

Ant Moat - Keep ants off hummingbird feeders.

Again, make it difficult for the critters to reach the goods by greasing the pole.  If they made the climb, they are there! An ant moat makes it difficult for ants to get to the feeder.

Additional Hummingbird Items on Amazon:
1.) Heritage Farms Bird Nester Refill
2.) Hanging Suet Feeder
3.) Hummingbird House & Hummingbird Swing
4.) 2 Mini Hand Held Hummingbird Feeders with Instructions 
5.) Coco Bird Rest — Create a rustic and natural shelter for small birds.
6.) Ant Issue on Nectar Feeders? Top Rated Ant Guard Moat


6.) Hang Over Water

Hummingbird Hanger
◙ Ants do not like water because they are not strong swimmers.

◙ Hang your feeder pole in a pond or birdbath, doing so doesn’t allow the ant’s free access to climbing the pole.

◙ A wonderful solution is to use a clamp pole design above the water source.

Have Another Way I Missed?
Have another trick that I might have missed, overlooked or haven’t thought of?  Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section to help additional readers.

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Proper placement of your hummingbird feeder in a sunny, but not direct sunlight will keep plastic feeders from swelling and causing leaking.  Ants are attracted to the sweetness of the hummingbird nectar.  Once you have fixed the leaks, try vegetable oil on the bottom 12 inches of your pole, attaching a moat, placing a pole over a water source, hanging the feeder from fishing line and moving the location of your hummingbird feeder to confuse your pesty guests. All the suggested ways will help so your birds you not have to fight off ants.


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