How To Get Rid Of Ants In Your Hummingbird Feeder

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Finding ants invading your hummingbird feeders and keeping the birds away may be very annoying. Ants are searching for a simple food, but their presence means your feeders need to be protected, so act now.

Here are a few easy fixes for ant infestations in hummingbird feeders: applying petroleum jelly to the hanger of the feeder, placing ant traps or sprays nearby, wiping the feeder down with vinegar, or periodically relocating the feeder.

The Reasons Behind Ants’ Draw to Hummingbird Feeders

The purpose of hummingbird feeders is to draw in these little, vibrant birds with their delicious nectar. But other species than only hummingbirds use the feeders. For many bird lovers, this sweet liquid also attracts ants, which is frustrating.

Knowing why ants are drawn to hummingbird feeders will enable you to take the appropriate precautions to ward them off.

The Aroma

Because of their excellent sense of smell, ants are drawn to pleasant smells in particular. Ants find the nectar from hummingbird feeders to be an ideal feeding source because of its high sugar content. Ants are able to detect a strong aroma emanating from even the slightest remnants of spilled nectar or a leaking feeder, even at a distance.

They will swarm the feeder in quest of a feast as soon as they locate the source.

Simple to Reach

Ants are drawn to hummingbird feeders due of their convenient accessibility. The tiny feeding apertures on the majority of feeders are designed to fit hummingbirds’ long, thin beaks. But ants may also fit via these apertures because of their width.

It becomes challenging for the hummingbirds to feed after they’ve made their way inside and have unrestricted access to the nectar.

Possibilities for Nesting

Because hummingbird feeders provide options for nesting, ants are also drawn to them. Ants may exploit tiny cracks or fissures in some feeders as entryways to construct their nests. More ants may enter the feeder as a result of these colonies’ rapid growth and annoyance factor.

In order to keep ants away from your hummingbird feeder, you need take preventative action. Make sure the feeder is spotless and doesn’t leak or spill. To build a physical barrier between the ants and the feeder, think about using ant moats or barriers.

Ants are unable to get through these obstacles when they are filled with water or an oily material.

Ants may also find it more difficult to access if the feeder is hung from a wire or placed atop a pole. To stop ants from coming near the feeder, you may also try using natural repellents like vinegar, peppermint, or cinnamon.

Hummingbirds may be harmed by these compounds, thus it’s vital to avoid adding them straight to the nectar or feeder.

You may guarantee that your feathered companions have unhindered access to their nectar-filled haven by comprehending the reasons behind ants’ attraction to hummingbird feeders and implementing appropriate measures.

How to Remove Ants from Hummingbird Feeders

Use a hanger with petroleum jelly.

Putting petroleum jelly on the hanger or hook of your hummingbird feeder is one practical approach to deter ants from using it. The jelly’s sticky surface makes it difficult for ants to crawl over, keeping them from getting to the feeder.

Just apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly, covering the whole surface of the hook or hanger. You can keep ants out of your hummingbird feeder by using this easy fix.

Set Ant Traps or Apply Repellent Spray

You may use spray repellents made especially for outdoor usage or ant traps if you see a chronic ant infestation. Because the ant traps will attract and capture ants, they will draw less of them to the feeder.

Alternatively, you may build a barrier around the feeder using ant spray repellents to keep ants away. When utilizing these goods, don’t forget to adhere to the manufacturer’s directions.

Vinegar is used to clean the feeder.

It’s crucial to clean your hummingbird feeder on a regular basis to keep ants away from the sweet solution. Once the feeder is empty, give it a thorough cleaning with a vinegar and water combination. Any ant trails that may have been left behind are helped to disappear by the strong scent of vinegar.

Before adding more fresh nectar to the feeder, give it a thorough rinse with water.

Frequently Move the Feeder

Because they are creatures of habit, ants often travel the same paths. You may impede the hummingbirds’ path and deter them from discovering your feeder by shifting it to a new spot every few days.

With this easy approach, you can keep ants away and make sure your feathery friends may continue to enjoy their nectar without any disturbances.

Employ a Moat

An ingenious tool that might help keep ants away from your hummingbird feeder is a moat. It is made out of a little water-filled container that separates the ants from the feeder. Make sure the water level in the feeder is higher above the ants’ reach by hanging it over the moat.

In this manner, the water will discourage the ants and prevent them from getting to the honey.

Raise the Feeder

Raising your hummingbird feeder is another good strategy to deter ants from using it. Make sure there are no adjacent surfaces that ants may use as a bridge before mounting the feeder on a pole or hanging it from a high limb.

You may keep ants away from your feeder by raising it to a physical barrier that is tough for them to cross.

Preventive Steps to Avoid Ants: Regularly Clean Feeders

Maintaining frequent cleaning of your hummingbird feeder is one of the best strategies to keep ants out. The feeder’s sugar water attracts ants, so any spills or residue will draw them in no time.

First, empty any remaining nectar and give your feeder a thorough cleaning with hot water. For stubborn residue, use a toothbrush or bottle brush to clean it away. Ensure that any crevice and space where ants may hide is cleared out.

You may lessen the likelihood that ants will make their way to your feeder by keeping it clean.

Use feeders resistant to ants

It may be time to get an ant-resistant feeder if ants are a regular problem in your hummingbird feeder. These feeders are made with unique moats or barriers that keep ants from getting to the nectar.

Certain feeders come with built-in moats that you can fill with water to create an impenetrable barrier for ants. Others feature conical baffles or slick surfaces that ants can’t get past. You may enjoy observing hummingbirds without worrying about ants by using an ant-resistant feeder.

Get Rid of Ant Nests Close by

Eliminating any nearby ant nests is another practical strategy to prevent ants from taking over your hummingbird feeder. Ants will be more likely to visit your feeder if there is an ant nest nearby since they often construct their nests close to food sources.

To get rid of ants, search your yard for ant hills or trails and use ant baits or natural ant repellents. Ants are less likely to make their way to your hummingbird feeder if you remove ant nests.

Keep Used Food Properly Stored

The food in your hummingbird feeder should be carefully stored while not in use. Ants can smell sugar from a distance because to their excellent sense of smell. Ants will eventually discover sugar water or nectar that is left out in the open.

To keep ants away, store your leftover food in the refrigerator or sealed containers. Ants won’t be drawn to your food if it is stored correctly, which will lessen the chance that they will invade your feeder.

When to Hire an Ant Exterminator

Although dealing with ants in your hummingbird feeder might be annoying, there are a few things to think about before you decide to hire an exterminator. Although ants might be a nuisance, they are typically safe for people and birds to be around.

Still, there are several circumstances in which hiring an exterminator may be essential.

1. Extensive Infestations

Despite your best attempts to keep them away, if you discover a lot of ants in and around your hummingbird feeder, it might be an indication of a bigger infestation. Ants are gregarious, colonial insects that might be difficult to get rid of on your own, especially if the infestation is significant.

It is best to contact a licensed exterminator in these situations so they can evaluate the issue and take the necessary action to get rid of the ants.

2. Continual Infestations

If, despite your best efforts to keep them away, ants keep coming back to your hummingbird feeder, there may be a more significant problem at hand. Large, linked colonies of certain ant species, like Argentine ants, may be difficult to fully eradicate without expert assistance.

In these situations, contacting a professional exterminator may assist in locating the infestation’s origin and putting in place practical long-term remedies.

3. Safety and Health Issues

The majority of ants are benign, however, certain species may be dangerous to one’s health or well-being. For instance, fire ants may bite people painfully, particularly if they are allergic. Prioritize the safety of both you and the hummingbirds if you see aggressive or perhaps harmful ant species close to your feeder.

It is advised in these circumstances to get in touch with a professional exterminator who can safely get rid of the ants and avoid such infestations in the future.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that not every circumstance calls for an exterminator’s support. There are a few do-it-yourself (DoI) solutions that work well if you’d rather take care of a little ant issue yourself.

It is essential to speak with a specialist if you are unclear or worried about the infestation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which ants target feeders for hummingbirds?

Although a variety of ants have been seen to target hummingbird feeders, sugar ants are the most frequent offenders. The delicious nectar in the feeders attracts these little pests, who will do whatever it takes to get to it.

Carpenter ants and Argentine ants are two more kinds of ants that could be attracted to hummingbird feeders.

Ants: Will they harm Hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds may not be harmed directly by ants, although they may find their presence to be highly annoying. When ants are everywhere on the feeder, hummingbirds may get stressed and anxious and may stop eating altogether.

Furthermore, if the ants are able to enter the nectar, they may contaminate it, making it dangerous for the hummingbirds to drink.

How can hummingbird feeders be naturally kept ant-free?

You may use a variety of natural strategies to deter ants from visiting your hummingbird feeders. Here are a few sensible choices:

Cinnamon: Dust the ant paths or the area around the feeder’s base with cinnamon powder. Ants will not pass a strong cinnamon aroma since they don’t like it.
Cooking oil or Vaseline: Lightly coat the hanger or pole of the feeder with cooking oil or Vaseline. Ants find it difficult to scale this barrier.
Install a moat filled with water over the feeder. Since ants cannot swim, they are unable to get to the honey.
Ant traps: To draw in and get rid of ants, set up ant traps next to the feeder. Something harmless for hummingbirds but harmful to ants is included in these traps.

Move the feeder to a new location if you’ve tried these solutions and the ants are still bothering you. Ants may be drawn to certain areas because of the presence of wetness or food supplies nearby.

Final Thoughts

Ants in hummingbird feeders may discourage birds from eating, therefore it’s important to take quick action to solve the problem. You may get rid of bothersome ants with a few easy fixes, such as moving the feeder, using petroleum jelly, and cleaning with vinegar.

Make sure you also take precautions, such as routine cleaning and getting rid of anthills nearby. Your hummingbirds will appreciate that you fed them without ants.

I'm Nauman Afridi, the bird enthusiast behind My lifelong passion for birds has led me to create a space where fellow bird lovers can find valuable insights and tips on caring for our feathered friends.Professionally, I'm a brand strategist and digital marketing consultant, bringing a unique perspective to the world of bird care. Whether you're a novice or an experienced bird owner, is designed to be a welcoming community for all.Feel free to explore, and reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about birds.
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