How to Keep Ants Away from Hummingbird Feeders

Ants can be a persistent nuisance when it comes to hummingbird feeders. These tiny creatures are attracted to the sweet nectar in the feeders, often creating a trail that can deter hummingbirds from feeding. Fortunately, there are several effective methods to keep ants away from hummingbird feeders without harming the birds or the environment.

Choose the Right Feeder

Selecting the appropriate hummingbird feeder can help prevent ants from accessing the nectar. Opt for feeders with built-in ant moats or baffles. These features create a barrier that ants cannot easily cross, keeping the nectar safe for the hummingbirds.

Use Ant Moats

Ant moats are small devices that can be attached to the feeder to prevent ants from reaching the nectar. Fill the moat with water, creating a barrier that ants cannot pass through. Make sure to keep the moat filled with water to maintain its effectiveness.

Apply a Barrier

Another effective method is to apply a barrier to the feeder’s hanger or pole. Substances like petroleum jelly, cooking oil, or specialized ant repellents can create a slippery surface that ants cannot traverse. Reapply the barrier regularly to ensure its efficacy.

Keep the Area Clean

Ants are attracted to spilled nectar and sugar residue around the feeder. Regularly clean the feeder and its surroundings to remove any spills or drips. Consider placing the feeder on a platform or tray to catch any drips and prevent ants from accessing them.


By implementing these strategies, you can effectively keep ants away from hummingbird feeders and create a welcoming environment for these beautiful birds. Remember to choose the right feeder, use ant moats, apply barriers, and maintain cleanliness to ensure that hummingbirds can enjoy their nectar undisturbed. With a little effort and vigilance, you can successfully deter ants and provide a safe feeding space for hummingbirds in your garden.

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