Keeping the ants out of your hummingbird feeders

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Hummers are beautiful and fun to watch!

Do ants raid your hummingbird and oriole feeders? Chances are they do. And they’re crafty little critters, those ants! They’ll climb any heights to find that sweet reward. Well, here’s a little trick that might help.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Hummingbird or oriole feeders.
  • Hummingbird or oriole nectar or syrup.
  • Margarine or other plastic tub lid.

Prepare the margarine tub lid:
Poke a hole in the center of a lid from a margarine tub, edges facing upward. A plastic deli-container lid works, too. Careful use of scissor blade works to make the hole.

Push the hanger-string on the hummer-feeder up through the hole as shown in diagram in step 2. Ease the lid down the string until it almost touches the top of the feeder.


Feed the string through the lid.

Ant prevention:
Carefully smear petroleum jelly or cooking oil all over the top-side of the lid; just lightly though. You don’t want a mess of it to melt and run down over the edges and all over the sides of your feeder.

Hang the feeder as usual. The ants will get stuck on the grease before they can find their way to the feeder. Like I said, they’re smart little buggers and, while some will persist to the death, others will note the carnage and make a hurried retreat!

On occasion some particularly persistent ants will figure out how to sneak down the string, avoiding the grease altogether. If this happens, simply stuff a small amount of cotton ball fluff — even q-tip fluff will do it — soaked in oil, into the string-hole, around the string. A nut-pick is a great little tool for this job.


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