How To Keep Ants Out Of The Humming Bird Feeder?

Everybody loves hummingbirds chirping in their courtyards and making a visit to your home often. It is a beautiful view to see them around and tasting the sweet nectar or sugar water from the hummingbird feeder which you have provided in your garden. This practice of hummingbird visiting your garden is greatly loved by your family, your children, and pets. So do the ants too. The uninvited guests are deeply in love with the sweet liquid which you provide in the hummingbird feeder.

Once ants occupy their place in the hummingbird feeder, then hummingbirds will no more be your visitors. The ants, with their thousands, have a taste of the nectar, slowly depleting it, and also die by falling into the nectar and thus contaminating it. Hummingbirds do not like the taste of ants in the nectar.  It is saddening to see your kids eagerly waiting to watch the hummingbirds which never come until and unless you keep the ants out. This guide will help you how to keep ants out of hummingbird feeder, thus making the hummingbirds continue their routine.

What Will You Need?

You will need the following materials for preventing ants from visiting your hummingbird feeder:

  • Hanging hummingbird feeder
  • Large plastic cap or lid
  • Hot glue gun or wax
  • Tube of a ball point pen or straw
  • Vaseline
  • Ant moat
  • Ant trap
  • Insecticide spray
  • Bay leaves or mint leaves
  • Adhesive tape
  • Plain white chalk
  • Cooking oil

The above list is huge because it includes all the items required for several options of getting rid of ants from your hummingbird feeder. You can choose the material based on the method you are going to follow.

Humming Bird

Keep ants out of hummingbird feeder

How to Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird Feeder?

The following methods will help you to get effectively rid of ants and other insects from your hummingbird feeder. Apart from the ant moat and the ant trap, we are going to use materials which are available in your kitchen to perform the action. We are also going to guide you to create certain DIY type ant repellent. Let’s get started!

Method 1: Ant Trap

Using an ant trap is the most efficient method of preventing ants from invading your hummingbird feeder. This ant trap is attached to your feeder over the top. This option requires minimal maintenance too. This product uses a sticky substance, which the ant hesitates to cross over and reach the feeder to have a taste of the nectar.

When you purchase this product, make sure that the hanging rod is strong enough. Go for an ant trap with a metal hanging device. A plastic one can break during winds or with continuous usage. This will cause your feeder also to fall along with the ant trap.

Method 2: Ant Moat

The Ant moat is another form of an ant trap which works differently. Above the feeder, a cup filled with water is attached, which prevents the ant from crawling over to the sweet nectar. Unlike an ant trap, an ant moat requires regular maintenance. It needs to be cleaned and replaced with water regularly.

If not maintained properly, some diligent ants form a bridge using the accumulated debris in the water and cross over the moat. Sometimes, these industrious ants also create a bridge of ants over the water and cross over. But if maintained properly, an ant moat is the best way to keep ants away from your feeder.

We will now teach you how to keep ants out of hummingbird feeder by creating your ant moat using regular household materials.

  • Attach a metal string over the hanging loop of your hummingbird Give sufficient length to it.
  • Drop in a tubular plastic body of an old ball point pen.
  • Pierce a hole in the centre of a wide cap of a jar. Insert it into the metal string in an upside down manner, such that it sits over the tube in a cup-like
  • Use hot glue or wax and seal the region where a hole was made in the lid of the metal string so that there is no leakage.
  • Create a loop at the remaining end of the metal string and use it for hanging the feeder.
  • Pour water into the plastic lid.
  • Voila! Your ant moat is ready!

You can also create variations according to your preference to create the most efficient ant moat.

Method 3: Using Chalk

Draw a circle using plain white chalk around the hanging loop of the feeder. Chalks prevent ants from walking in. But still, if they don’t care about it and cross over, follow other methods. But this method has been successful for many others who have followed.

Method 4:  Using Vaseline

Vaseline or petroleum jelly is the best ant repellent. You can either apply them over the outer surface of the feeder or fill them instead of water in the plastic cap of the ant moat. Ants can never cross over Vaseline, and the hummingbirds can have a peaceful leisure time at your feeder.

Method 5: Using Insecticides on the Trees where the Feeder is Hung

If you are hanging the feeder on the trees, then it is advisable to spray the trunk of the tree with insecticides to prevent ants and other insects from causing harm to the hummingbird or having a taste of the nectar. But make sure that the insecticide never even happens to come in contact with the feeder as it is dangerous to the birds.

Method 6: Bay Leaves or Mint Leaves across the Pole

Bay leaves and mint leaves are a great enemy for ants. Tie them around the pole where you have hung the feeder. Ants don’t even turn up.

Method 7: Adhesive Tape

Stick the string of the feeder with dual side adhesive tape over a very small portion. The ants would stick to the tape and can never make it to the sweet nectar.

Method 8: Cooking Oil

Cooking oil is a great repellent for ants. Soak a cloth with cooking oil and tie it around the pole of the feeder. Replace this cloth every week to keep ants at bay.

What Not to Do?

So far we have seen how to keep ants out of hummingbird feeder. You should also be aware of what not to do so that you do not cause harm to the hummingbirds who are your guests.

  • Do not use insecticides or any other sort of poison on the outer surface of the feeder.
  • If you are pouring petroleum jelly inside the cap of the ant moat, make sure that the cap is in the shape of a cup or something covered, so that the hummingbirds do not eat it.
  • While using adhesive tape, do not stick them throughout the string, as the birds can bump over them and happen to lose their feathers as the gum can stick to it.
  • Clean the feeder regularly and check for any leakage, as they are the main reason for attracting ants.


We hope that the above guide would have given you an insight into how to keep ants out of hummingbird feeder. A feeder is a great idea to facilitate the visiting of birds to your home. It is a good habit to be nurtured.

Keeping your feeder clean and hygienic plays a major role in the regular visit of birds. A least and effective maintenance is sufficient to promote a healthy routine for the hummingbirds.

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