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7 Ways To Get Rid of Ants in Your Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbirds and feeders are great for avid gardeners or just for bird fans in general. Hummingbirds aren’t just nice to look at, they’re also essential pollinators and can help bring life to your backyard’s plants. 

Although feeders are a great way to attract and feed hummingbirds, their sugary water also attracts other pests like ants. Ant infestations on hummingbird feeders are incredibly common. They’re both gross and can deter your hummingbirds from enjoying your feeder. 

What many hummingbird fans find is that although they want to get rid of ants, they don’t want to harm the other wildlife attracted to the feeder. Hummingbird feeders don’t just attract birds, they can also help attract essential pollinators like butterflies, bees, and ladybugs.

Today, Pest Brigade is going to share some exterminator-approved ways to get rid of ants on your hummingbird feeder and in your backyard.

Clean your hummingbird feeder daily

You might think it’s a little overboard or time-consuming to clean your feeder everyday. However, leftover residue and bacteria could be what’s attracting the ants to your feeder.

In addition to stopping ants from infesting your feeder, daily cleaning will also prevent other harmful bacteria that causes infections to your hummingbirds. 

Your feeder could be leaking

The best way to stop ants is to not attract them to the feeder. Ants may have spotted your feeder simply because it’s leaking and creating a trail. Inspect your feeder and replace the feeder if it is cracked or leaking. 

Move your feeder

You should move your feeder often, as it lessens the chances of ants returning. You can either move your feeder to a different area of your backyard, or try a shadier place.

Moving your feeder will lessen ant infestation and could attract new birds who haven’t spotted your feeder yet.   

Buy or make an ant moat

Ant moats are one of the most effective ways to get rid of ants. This method eliminates ants and won’t harm any other wildlife. You can buy ant moats on Amazon, or can even make one yourself with items in your home! All you need to do is attach the moat to the feeder and add water.

There is no need for chemicals with this method, and ants are stopped before they become a problem. 

Make a natural DIY ant spray 

We love DIYs, especially ones that can get rid of ants! Ants are deterred by strong smells like cinnamon and peppermint. The scent is strong enough to throw off the ants, but are completely safe to use around birds. To make a DIY anti-ant spray, you’ll need:

  • 2 cup water
  • ½ tsp natural liquid soap (optional)
  • 1 tsp peppermint oil

Mix all the ingredients together, then funnel into a spray bottle. Spray the holding mechanism on your feeder, avoiding all feeding points. 

If you really want to make your ants squirm, use the mixture in your ant moat! Any ants brave enough to withstand the smell won’t be able to get past the moat. 

Clean out your moat

You may have already installed your moat, and although it’s working on the ants, your birds have yet to return. This could be because your moat is dirty or too full of ants. When you clean your feeder, be sure to empty and clean the moat as well. 

When ants die, they release a pheromone which attracts other ants. Getting rid of any ants on your feeder as soon as possible will ensure ants don’t return and birds feel welcomed to the feeder. 

Set up another ant trap

For extra protection, you could set up another bait and trap to lure the ants in your backyard. If you find your infestation is persistent, you could have a larger problem at bay. Use a sticky bait trap like Tanglefoot around a tree in your backyard. 

Follow the installation instructions, and watch the ants get to work! You can purchase Tanglefoot on Amazon for less than $15.

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information.

Why Does My Hummingbird Feeder have Ants?

Not sure why your hummingbird feeder has ants? Print off the checklist below to remember what could be causing your ant infestation.

If you’re still not sure where the ant infestation is coming from, call Pest Brigade to speak with one of our partners. You cold have a larger ant nest hiding somewhere in or around your home that may need more attention!

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