Ants in the hummingbird feedersgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have two hummingbird feeders which are both a good 6 feet off the ground,hanging from thin wires..the wires are on plant hangers which in turn are connected to the porch...I went to change the feeders this morning and found ants in them and on them..marching from the roof of the porch down the hangers and onto the wires..there were a gazillion of them..so many that they were not all washed off by a hose sprayer...yuck...does anyone else have thos problem???? The hummingbirds do not seem to mind since i assume ants are also all over the flowers..I mind, because it makes it pretty yucky to clean them all out....God bless..
-- lesley (email@example.com), July 12, 2000
Yes, that happens from time to time along with earwigs, and hornets/bees. They have little "moat" type things you can put between the hanger and the feeder that will discourage the ants and earwigs. I made one myself from a lid of a spray paint can. They have a one inch section in the middle of the lid to protect the sprayer. If you drill a small hole in the center and thread the hanger through w/a knot to keep it in place you can then fill the rest of the lid w/water or something else to keep the ants out. Nothing can keep the bees away. Just try to not leave any of the mix around the outside or spill any. The earwigs are the grossest.
I would be interested in hearing any other ideas to keep these things from crawling down the hanger...
-- JimR (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 12, 2000.
I have the same problem with ants and have not come up with a solution other than not completely filling the feeder and cleaning it out and refilling more often. Doesn't keep the ants from coming though just not as many when I do refill it. I rinse it out under my outdoor faucet.
-- barbara (email@example.com), July 12, 2000.
I have the same problem with ants and have not come up with a solution other than not completely filling the feeder and cleaning it out and refilling more often. Doesn't keep the ants from coming though just not as many when I do refill it. I rinse it out under my outdoor faucet. I figure the ants gotta eat too although most of them end up drowning!!
-- barbara (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 12, 2000.
Hi Lesley. My husband made me a little gizmo like Jim described and it's worked like a champ. My feeders are protected by the house eaves and don't collect rainwater. To be sure the ants can't cross I put a drop of dishwashing liquid in mine to reduce surface tension. The ants and anything else can't float, sink and drown in the moat.
I've seen them in pet stores and magazines made just for this purpose for $5-6, but why spend the $$ when a few minutes and a little clever recycling works just as well?
Oh, Lesley. I thought I saw a loggerhead shrike a few days ago and thought about you. I haven't seen any since that flock of them used to patrol my garden in the evenings.
-- marilyn (email@example.com), July 12, 2000.
I coat the hanging wire pretty heavily with machine grease for a couple of inches. The ants can't or won't walk through it. This has worked pretty well for me for the past 3 or 4 years. You have to re-apply the grease every month or so.
-- Les (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 12, 2000.
is it true that ants leave their scent as they go along so they and others will follow the same trail to and from? I get the little ants in my kitchen this time of year and a bleach solution sure takes care of any scent they left behind. what if you would wrap fly paper around your post somehow without it making a sticky mess for you (good luck)and see how many you can catch? just a thought
-- Pat (email@example.com), July 12, 2000.
I had an awful time with huge black ants. Some seemed almost as big as the birds! I read somewhere to hang the feeder from fishing line. I have it hanging on about 3" of fishing line & the ants have not been able to touch it! :-) I assume that the line is too slick for them to hang on too. I tried cleaning it out more often, & also using vegetable oil on the hanger. That worked for a couple of days, but I was always reapplying th oil. This has worked like a charm for me.
-- Wendy (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 12, 2000.
I had a problem earlier this year with ants in the feeders. Like another contributer did, I coated the wire that the feeder hangs from heavily with axle grease and that stopped them.
-- Marci (email@example.com), July 13, 2000.
We put a thick coat of vasolene around the edges of the top of the feeders and also on the cords hanging from the nail that the ants try to use to climb down...
-- Suzy in 'Bama (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 15, 2000.
I have heard that a product Avon sells called "Skin So Soft" works because insects don't like the smell and its oily. It doesn't seem to bother the birds. I have the same problem - found the bottom of my feeder full of little brown ants. Gross! Anyway, anything sticky or oily seems to work. Good luck!
-- Susan Hutchinson (email@example.com), July 17, 2000.