Have a problem with Ants eating my hummingbird food?

Have a problem with Ants eating my hummingbird food?

7 January, 2010 (03:17) | hummingbird food | By: admin


I even live on the 3rd floor!! I have the hummingbird feeder hanging off the railing. Ants are all over it and even drowning in it. So first question is what can I do to stop them? Second is that harmful to the hummingbirds?

Ants
They will find your feeder, unless you take precautions. Buy a dripless feeder; they really make a difference. Some feeder models feature a built-in ant moat that may be filled with water; don’t use oil, since chickadees and other small birds like to drink from ant moats. You can make your own moat by running the hang wire through a hole in a spraycan top (use a dab of silicone sealer or hot glue to seal the hole). But the best defense against ants is to paint the inside bottom of an ant moat with Tanglefoot, a very sticky goo sold at nurseries, and install the moat open side down. This is extremely effective against ants, poses no risk of a bird getting stuck or contaminated, and is low maintenance, since it keeps the goo from being compromised by rain and dust.

I no longer recommend using duct tape or castor oil around suction cups or on hang wires. There’s too much chance of a hummer brushing against it during feeder fights.

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Comments

Comment from portiaraylee
Time January 7, 2010 at 8:47 am

We have the same problem – not so much anymore. It never seem to hurt the birds, but we put double sided tape on the part that the feeder hung from. A few seem to still get past it, but nothing like it used to be. Good luck!
References :

Comment from Robert S
Time January 7, 2010 at 9:17 am

Ants
They will find your feeder, unless you take precautions. Buy a dripless feeder; they really make a difference. Some feeder models feature a built-in ant moat that may be filled with water; don’t use oil, since chickadees and other small birds like to drink from ant moats. You can make your own moat by running the hang wire through a hole in a spraycan top (use a dab of silicone sealer or hot glue to seal the hole). But the best defense against ants is to paint the inside bottom of an ant moat with Tanglefoot, a very sticky goo sold at nurseries, and install the moat open side down. This is extremely effective against ants, poses no risk of a bird getting stuck or contaminated, and is low maintenance, since it keeps the goo from being compromised by rain and dust.

I no longer recommend using duct tape or castor oil around suction cups or on hang wires. There’s too much chance of a hummer brushing against it during feeder fights.
References :

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