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How to Keep Ants Away from Hummingbird Feeders

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how to keep ants away from hummingbird feeders

Are you wondering why your favorite hummingbirds do not visit your yard? Well, it is because the ants invade your hummingbird feeder.

This causes the hummingbird to avoid your place because these birds do not like ants. Although they eat insects, ants are not their favorites. If you want these nectar-feeding birds in your yard, you must find solutions to keep the ants away from their feeders.

You may relocate the feeders or do some ways to avoid ants. In this article, we will share some steps on how to keep ants away from hummingbird feeders. You can do it by yourself, and the materials are easy to find. Let’s get started.


What Draws Ants to Hummingbird Feeders?

The most popular and favorite food of hummingbirds is the flower nectar that they can get in your flowering plant in your garden. However, if you do not have enough flower nectar, you can make your homemade nectar recipe or also refer to it as the sugar water solution.

We all know that ants love to eat sugar. Indeed, they are also after the sugar nectar in the hummingbird feeders that you put in your yard.

So, these ants steal the nectar that the hummingbirds like. The ants also contaminate the sugar water.

Because of this, the hummingbirds are discouraged from eating the sugar nectar in their feeders. It poses problems, and you might not find hummingbirds anymore in your yard.

To help you resolve this problem, I would like to share a step-by-step guide on how to keep ants out of my hummingbird feeder. You may read further below.

Using Ant Moat

Ant moat is also known as an ant guard, which is an ant trap. This ant trap is a cup that is filled with water, in which the ants cannot travel or reach the nectar because of the water.

It prevents the ants from crawling down to the feeder. You can make buy an ant moat guard, or you can simply follow the steps below on how to make your ant moat:

  • Prepare the materials needed such as a cup made of hard plastic, medium-thick wire, tape, glue stick, and glue gun or a waterproof sealant, tiny pebbles, and soldering iron.
  • Get the wire about 12 inches in length and twist the bottom part upward using pliers. The twisted wire is where you will hang the bird feeder.
  • Take the hard plastic cup and punch a hole just like the size of the wire using the soldering iron.
  • Insert the wire in the plastic cup and locate it in the middle of the wire.
  • Also, twist the upper part of the wire downward. You will use this part to hang the devised ant moat together with the feeder on the metal bracket or any strong branch of a tree.
  • Get a tape and put it on the wire exactly at the bottom of the cup near the hole. Glued this part using the glue stick and glue gun or you may also use a waterproof sealant. Let it dry for a few minutes.
  • Then, also glued the inside bottom part of the cup exactly at the hole and the space around it. Leave it for a few minutes.
  • Once the glue is dried, you may put a small number of tiny pebbles then put glue on the pebbles and let it dry for several minutes. This prevents the water from seeping.
  • You may now fill the ant moat with water. Then, hang it together with the feeder on the metal bracket or a branch of a tree. You are now good to go!

Using a Mentholatum Ointment

A mentholatum ointment is a medicine to relieve minor joint or muscle pain. It may also relieve cough and chest congestion by rubbing it on the chest. Also, this ointment may prevent the ants from crawling in the hummingbird feeder. This is how to use it.

  • Lightly coat the top of the feeder with the ointment using a butter knife.
  • You may also coat the sides of the attached hanger.
  • The oils in the ointment can trap the ants and prevent them from crawling down the feeder.
  • This ointment can withstand the rain and the heat of the sun. But, you may reapply it after you have deep-cleaned the hummingbird feeder.

Do not apply a heavy coat of the ointment because if the bird bumps into the feeder, its feather might be damaged. Also, you may use a vapor rub to replace the mentholatum ointment.


Protecting the hummingbird feeders from ants may encourage the hummers from visiting your yard. It is indeed lovely watching them flocking in your home.

You can prevent ants from invading the feeders. Simply, follow any of the DIY methods mentioned above on how to keep ants away from hummingbird feeders. Then, you can feed your hungry hummers and watch them happily!

We are pleased with any suggestions or ideas about how to keep ants from crawling up to hummingbird feeder. You may jot them down in the comment box below. Our readers will surely appreciate them.

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