How to Keep Ants Off Hummingbird Feeders – Backyard Food Growing


Hummingbirds love sweet sugar syrup, but so do the ants…and even spiders! They will make your bird feeding experience less than pleasant. Ants are everywhere even if you can’t see them all the time. You can be that they’ll come out in force once they spot your feeder.

They can be quite a nuisance and as they feed on the sweet liquid some of them get stuck in the feeder and drown. They’ll quickly clog up the drinking spouts with their drowned bodies and eventually the birds won’t come to feed anymore. 

It’s not reasonable to try and kill all the ants to keep them off the hummingbird feeder, there are too many. The best plan is to outsmart them. This is where an ant moat comes in. This attachment works in a very simple way to intercept the ants as they try to invade your feeder.

An ant moat works with every kind of hanging feeder, it just hooks right above it. The moat then gets filled with water that’s it. The ants cannot get across the moat and down to the drinking spouts. It’s important to clean the moat daily or as often as necessary to keep it clear of ant bodies and full of fresh water.

It’s usually a headache to hang the feeder in a tree because it’s just so easy for the ants to walk to the feeder. If you are hanging it in a tree, you’ll soon have excessive amounts of ants in it. If you really want to hang it in a tree then I recommend using Tanglefoot around the tree as well as using the ant moat. The Tanglefoot puts up an extra barrier of protection for the feeder. Instructions for using Tanglefoot here.

The best place to hang a hummingbird feeder is under a first or second story overhang that is accessible through a window by just an arms reach.

This way it’s high enough to be attractive to the birds but not low enough that the birds become in danger of being snatched out of the air by a cat. It also gives you a great view of the birds feeding. Here is the super easy recipe for hummingbird food that I use all the time.

If you have problems with ants but still want to feed the hummingbirds, then this is a very simple solution that works.