How I Keep Ants Out of My Hummingbird Feeder…Simple Sanity Hacks!

Do you want to learn some ways to keep ants off your hummingbird feeder? Are those pesky buggers wreaking havoc imposing on the sweet nectar that was intended to be for your jeweled avian friends only? You don’t need to tell me that anything that involves sugar attracts every insect imaginable, ants included.

Of course, the nice warm weather you’re enjoying doesn’t help either as there are always MORE bugs! It can make you wonder if you, birds and bugs can peacefully co-exist, am I right?

We’re going to look at some ways you can win the battle against the army of ants traipsing uninvited up the trail of your beloved feeder. Whether you enjoyed making one like this or you have a specially designed feeder you bought elsewhere, unfortunately, they both have a way of becoming equal-opportunity feeders for ants and hummers.

Pin for Later? 🐜

keeping ants out of hummingbird feeder


A specially crafted ant moat, like these below, may be your salvation to protect your hummingbird feeder. It is designed to have an interior and outer interior, in which the ants that make the attempt will be trapped. You will have to put some water in it which will drown the ants and stop them in their tracks.

Woodlink Audubon Defend Ant GuardWoodlink Audubon Defend Ant GuardWoodlink Audubon Defend Ant GuardGlass Ant Moat for Hummingbird Feeder -Glass Ant Moat for Hummingbird Feeder –Glass Ant Moat for Hummingbird Feeder -Vintage Glass Ant Moat for HummingbirdsVintage Glass Ant Moat for HummingbirdsVintage Glass Ant Moat for Hummingbirds

There are some really attractive and classy looking ant stoppers on Amazon that would complement your feeder depending on the esthetics of the one you own. Some of them are plastic but some are made out of glass, or copper and are really elegant looking. If you have more than one feeder, they include multiples, too.

You need to attach the moat ABOVE the feeder via an included hook to be effective.

This ingenious concept actually attaches to the feeder and blends in with it by sitting atop the feeder by the hanger. It blocks them by creating a trap that they will fall into on the way to get to the feeder nectar – cool right?

This Hack Will Keep Ants Off Your Hummingbird Feeder FOR SURE!

Do you want to go the DIY route instead? That’s cool too! Well this hack is slap-yourself simple. It is how I made mine! Here are the things you need:

Plastic cap from a spray paint can

Wire for hanging

Cork stopper or wine bottle cork

2 small brass mug hooks (I used size 3/4“)

Disclaimer: I viewed a tutorial for this first so I cannot take all the credit for this ingenious idea

Why a spray paint can lid you ask? Doesn’t have to be this per se, but spray paint can caps, when you turn them over, have an inner chamber – You’re going to be putting water in the lid outside the inner chamber which the hypothetical ants will drown in…but the inner chamber should stay dry so the water won’t leak out.

1) Take your spray paint can and turn it upside down. ..I just got one from one of my spray paint projects in which I used scarlet red (again the perfect color for this) Using a teeny tiny drill bit, make a hole in the center.

2) Take a cup/mug hook and twist it into the hole you made in the can cap, keep twisting until all the threaded side is pushed in.

3) Grab your cork ( I looked all over the place for a wine bottle cork and when I came up short, checked out Lowes where I got a package of 2 cork stoppers -that’s what they’re labeled as) and a thumbtack.

Use your thumbtack to pierce a starting hole in one end of the cork.

hummingbird feeder ant moat

4) Take your cork and being careful to line up the tiny hole with the threads of the hook, start twisting the cork on until it is all the way in.

5) Now take your thumbtack and pierce another hole on the outside of the pushed in cork. Repeat step 2 again twisting in the cup hook until it is all the way in.

Voila! Now all you have to do is loop it onto the hanger of the birdfeeder like so…The other end, attach a new hanger over the other end before you hang up your feeder.

fill ant moat with water

Fill the moat with water (up to the inner rim). so ants who try to find their way in will drown and not stand a chance.

Note: Despite what you may have heard….DON’T smear cooking oil, spray, Vaseline or petroleum jelly on the other side of the cap. Hummingbirds could run into it and get that stuff on their feathers which isn’t good for them.

All you really need to deter the ants is water. Always be sure to put your feathered friends’ best interests first.

Periodically, you may need to replenish the moat with more water. Especially in warm/hot weather it tends to evaporate quicker.

Wan’t that brilliant? And the best part is, the moat sits right atop the feeder and blends in with it nicely so it doesn’t detract from your feeder’s appearance or appeal.

Some Additional Tips…

When you go to hang up your feeder, use a length of fishing line. It is transparent and if they can’t see it, the ants won’t be able to make their way to it. Plus it has a slick feel to it making the prospects of crawling down/up it unlikely.

Essential oils may deter ant trails…anything in the mint family has been shown to be repugnant to them. If you’re growing any herbs in that category, try threading a sprig of them above the feeder.

Let me know how it works… Which of these ideas are you going to try? Never let ants get the better of your backyard bird watching enjoyment again! Happy Hummingbirding!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top