10 Easy Ways To Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird Feeder


hummingbird-feederHummingbirds feed on sweet water and sugar ants are also attracted by this sweet nectar. It becomes necessary to keep away these ants from humming bird feeder or else humming birds will not be your guests anymore.

Everybody loves hummingbirds chirping in their courtyards. If you too don’t want to lose this beautiful view, you must adopt following methods to keep away ants from hummingbird feeder.

Stop Leakage

Have you checked the feeder for any leakages? If not then make sure it is free from any slits or leakages. Dripping sweet water will invite ants to the feeder and soon the water in feeder will become feed for these tiny creeks called ants.

Feeder place

Hot weather will expand the feeder if it is made up of plastic and this expansion can result in leakages. The question is whether to place it in a shade?

The best answer to this query is that if you keep it in fully shaded and dark area, humming birds will not be able to find it. So ideal place will be a partial shaded area.

Make it slippery

Another way to keep ants away from hummingbird feeder is apply Vaseline or some oily liquid on the outer side of feeder. This will act as a deterrent for ants in reaching the feeder


“Vaseline or oil can make the wings of birds sticky and hinder their flying”

A more humane approach would be to hang feeder with a thin fishing line. Ants find it difficult to grip these lines.

Commercial Ant traps

There is plethora of ant traps or ant moats available in market. These are of different shapes and prices. Choose any one of these to keep away ants from hummingbird feeder.

DIY Ant Moat

Ant moats can be prepared at home with the help of waste materials available at home. All you need is a discarded bottle-lid to make a moat to deter ants from reaching feeder. Here is this simple method to make a moat.

  • Take a bottle or can-lid with two rings. There should be a gap between outer ring and inner ring. Pierce a hole in the centre of inner ring with a help of hand drill or a sharp edged nail.
  • Run a wire through this hole up to feeder. The lower side of the lid should be pointing upwards.
  • The hole from where the wire has gone through should be completely sealed. It can be sealed with silicone sealant or some industrial glue.
  • Now fill the gap(between outer and inner rings) with water. The ants while trying to reach the feeder have to cross this water-moat but since ants are not good swimmers, they will be caught in the filled   If they escape somehow, they will not attempt this maneuver again and also inform their colony residents about the danger here.
  • If the inflow of ants is large, you can use a bigger lid with a large and deep moat.


“During summers water in the moat will dry up faster so keep a regular eye on it and fill the water if needed.”

Insecticide Sprays

If the hummingbird feeder is hung on a tree in courtyard of your house, the trunk of the tree should be sprayed with some insect killer spray from time to time. This is really an effective measure to keep away ants and other insects from hummingbird feeder.

Cleaning Feeder

Cleaning a hummingbird feeder is not an uphill task since the shape of feeders are quite simple to clean. Clean the feeders on regular basis since this will provide them protection from a possible ant invasion.

Bay Leaves

If you have used a pole to hang a feeder, tie some bay leaves or mint leaves around the pole and also around the wire on which feeder hangs. These leaves act as a great repellants to ants.

Adhesive Tape

Another good way to keep away ants from hummingbird feeders. Apply tape with gum side on outer side, around the pole. The ants will stick to gum and will not be able to reach feeders.

Cooking Oil

Whether it is a pole or a tree-trunk on which hummingbird feeder is hung, soak a cloth with used cooking oil and apply it on the pole or trunks of trees near ground. And guess what? The results will be amazing. Use this method on weekly basis to keep the ants at bay.


It is important to keep the sweet nectar feeder clean and hygienic for hummingbirds to feed on. Unwanted pests like ants often spoil this sweet liquid hence above methods can be employed to keep away ants from hummingbird feeders.