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Georgia Gardening: Black ants in the hummingbird feeders .

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digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

July 28, 2010
9:32 PM

Post #8003687

I finally found the nesting area, and would like to know if there is an effective way to kill the nest out .They aren't agressive , just ruin the food for the birds, and the birds don't want to drink with fifty of them swarming all over the feeders, and getting in the holes
EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

July 29, 2010
7:39 PM

Post #8005637

I use the feeders with ant wells in the middle, or put the cups with water above to keep the ants away. (and the smaller birds like to drink from them) I have had some of those small black ants in my kitchen.
Elaine
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

July 29, 2010
8:08 PM

Post #8005716

These are the big wood ants . Ive used the water in the past , but it evaporated so fast I had to fill it several times a day . I put about a quart of ant bait out but it just made them multiply faster . I used to use Pam spray on the poles but that isn't effective this year

beclu727

beclu727
Dacula, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 12, 2010
5:07 AM

Post #8035054

Hi Sally, I saw a posting on another site about using Orange Guard for killing ants. Its organic and non-toxic to humans and pets. I think the listing said that Ace hardware stores carry it. http://www.orangeguard.com/index.html Becky
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

August 12, 2010
6:00 AM

Post #8035112

Beclu727 , boy , I'm proud of you . I also have fire ants the last four years . This may be the answer to all my problems . Thank you soooo much .
imzadi
Jackson, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 15, 2010
8:01 PM

Post #8042270

i use petrolium jelly on my poles they get stuck in it and eventually dont try it agian u gotta slop it on but works
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

August 16, 2010
2:40 AM

Post #8042508

I got the Orange Guard but haven't seen anymore . I'll re hang the feeders today . Two are on strings between trees and another hanging from a branch . I have to keep rehanging them as the ants find them . Poor little birds have to hunt their meal , and it gets funny when they go one place , it's been moved and they come to me and just hover in my face
helenchild
Decatur, GA

August 19, 2010
10:14 AM

Post #8049574

I use vaseline too. It works.
Helen
TulipLady
Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 19, 2010
10:36 AM

Post #8049606

Vaseline, really keeps the ants out? I have a hummingbird feeder and now finally after 2 years, I have a hummingb. visiting. Multiple times per day. But the arbor on which it is hanging and feeder itself is pretty full with tiny ants. Most have been "collected" in the ant well but they are also around the portholes for birds. It's still coming back, may be they eat the ants also? I have wooden arbor, I wonder if vaseline would work on that too?
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

August 19, 2010
1:01 PM

Post #8049869

I'm going to get some vaseline when I go to town next week . Dollar store should have a big one pretty cheap . I used the Orange guard but we have showers every evening and guess it washes away or dilutes it too much . Isn't petrolem jelly and vaseline the same thing ?I think Vaseline is a brand name for p j .
TulipLady
Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 21, 2010
6:08 AM

Post #8053347

Digger, yes sorry Vaseline is name brand, I think I will try also although the hummingbird doesn't seem to be bothered by them. He comes and goes all day now. May be he/she (sorry don't know) eats them?
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

August 21, 2010
6:12 AM

Post #8053351

The little ground yellow jackets seem to be the only thing the birds avoid . they run the birds off and haven't been able to find any nests this year .
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

September 22, 2010
8:00 AM

Post #8113951

Beclu , I got rid of the ants . Also used it on a fire ant hill in my St . Agustine grass . It got rid of the fire ants ,but be careful in plant area . it killed the grass . You might not want brown patches in the lawn . HMMM, wonder if it would kill weeds . will have to try it on walks and borders .

beclu727

beclu727
Dacula, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 22, 2010
2:49 PM

Post #8114741

Glad it killed the ants, but not so good about the grass. Since citrus is a mild acid, like vinegar, I guess that's why it kills vegetation. I used half and half, vinegar and water, to clean excess grout off my floor tile after it was laid. I poured it out on some crab grass and it did kill it.
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

September 22, 2010
6:23 PM

Post #8115248

Well , we know what works , don't we . I'll take that stuff to Tex and try it on the fireants there . When they get started , it's hard to get rid of them and try to control new mounds .
I got a report today that the ground is so wet some of the 4-500year old liveoak are pulling out of the ground and it was still raining . All they have is sand .
lilypad22
(tish) near Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 26, 2010
1:19 PM

Post #8122167

Years ago I read about this and made some and they work really well. Its also recycling! Take a plastic top off a spray can...you just need the top, not the can..(at the time I could not find red so I used the yellow ones off the scrubbing bubbles can cause I love yellow). Either drill or melt a small hole in the center of the top and push a piece of wire thru it till you have half the wire on each side of the hole. I used the plastic coated wire, it was what we had on hand...maybe 8 - 10" long. The wire needs to be strong enough to hold the weight of the feeder. Bend a hook shape on each end of the wire. Glue the area of the hole where the wire goes thru so the plastic top will hold water and not leak. When glue has dried and cured, hang the top with the opening facing the sky and hang the hummingbird feeder from the bottom hook. ( the top will be upside down from the way it was on the spray can) Fill the "cup" with water and the ants can't get to the feeder.

I have a feeders with a well in top but it is very shallow and water did not stay in it long enough to help. I used oil but it dripped down the side and made a mess. Once I started using these spray can tops, I've had no problem with ants unless it dries out.

Do you still have hummingbirds up north? I'm just south of Atlanta and wondering how much longer they will be here. Each day I'm excited they are still here.

I'm going to look for that Orange Guard. Ants are winning the battle in my yard. this is the first year in about 3 years that they have not been in the house too.

tish
TulipLady
Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 26, 2010
1:52 PM

Post #8122207

I just wanted to give an update on "my" ants and the hb.feeder:
Took the advise and laid a thick layer of Petroleum jelly (vaseline) on the small chain the feeder is hanging from. The day after I saw no ants anymore at all! Before they were all over the arbor on their way to the feeder. I decided to put it just on the chain, since I want to paint the arbor next season. Yesterday I still saw my little guy. It is getting chillier now, they must be leaving soon.

Thumbnail by TulipLady
Click the image for an enlarged view.

digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

September 26, 2010
1:55 PM

Post #8122211

I have three birds left and three feeders . They are fighting and try to protect all of them at one time . Each year for the last several years , they have been gone by Oct third .
I'm sure some of the northern birds are coming through and just stopping over to feed .
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

September 26, 2010
2:03 PM

Post #8122220

I'll fix that up for them next year . The ones that were such a problem were the big black ants in the feeders .
BTW, Wal Mart has the feeders for under 5.00 that can be taken apart and cleaned completely . So much better for me to do that and easy .Under five bucks .
I also use three parts water to one part sugar . bring to boil , cool and store in two litre pop bottles in fridg . No coloring .They love the extra sweet .
FlipFlops
Brunswick , GA
(Zone 9a)

September 26, 2010
6:29 PM

Post #8122811

Hummers are still real active here. I noticed 7 or 8 of them flying around and fussing. They are so territorial! Lady at the bird store in Savannah told me to keep my feeders up until the end of October. She even said there are a few around here that stay around and don't migrate and I can keep the feeders up all winter if I don't get tired of changing the water. I usually change it about every 3 or 4 days and have cups hanging above the feeders to keep the ants out. Have bottlebrush bushes in bloom and red pentas close to the feeders and they fly from the bushes to the feeders back and forth and seem very happy. Occasionally, they will fly up to my front porch where I am sitting...such a delight!
lilypad22
(tish) near Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 26, 2010
8:05 PM

Post #8122991

I enjoy them very much also. They are brave little things, get quite close to me. If I let the feeders go empty, they hover in front of the door and chirp at me...and that works, I come out and fill them. I've heard two different ways...one is to take down the feeders so they will leave and migrate that they will stay too long if you keep feeding them and the other way is to leave the feeders up even when you don't see birds because there are always stragglers still migrating and they will need the food and energy to continue on their journey. I leave mine up into late Oct, early Nov if the weather stays nice - cause after a frost, it usually warms up again thru Nov. I think by the second week of Oct I usually notice they've gone. I didn't know about some not migrating but I guess that is in warmer parts of Georgia.

Our local garden center has the red plastic feeders with a wide mouth...they are much easier to clean. I really like those. I put up three feeders on different sides of the house. I was told this late this summer that if I put up more feeders, I'd have even more birds, so I might see if that works next year. I think there were 6 hummers this year, but its hard to count when they are flying all over and diving and chasing and who knows if they are really the same birds, ha.

tish
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

September 27, 2010
6:04 AM

Post #8123443

The feeders I found that I like so much are in three pieces . The bottom "dish" they eat out of comes apart to access the inside completely . I just hope W M has them next year , I'll get a half dozen or so .They had two sizes and I only fill them half up so can refresh every few days without a lot of waste .
About leaving feeders up , I don't take mine down until I have no more birds for a coupla weeks .I've noticed they don't leave when there are hurricanes in the gulf, but start going before or after the threat has passed . Anyone else noticed this , or is it just me ?
Eufaula
Eatonton, GA
(Zone 8b)

September 27, 2010
6:08 AM

Post #8123448

I guess im lucky to have them all year round here in Eatonton! Any time of the year while its not Freezing, you can see them flying through the trees here! I try not to have more than one feeder out while the flowers and trees are blooming , because I dont want my "Locals" to get used to being articficially fed. Whenever I do not feed them they still go to the Feeder area and fuss but they find the flowers and are fine!
As for the ants, Motor oil works great too. It doesn't get sticky like the Vaseline does and the ants cannot walk on it! The aggravating little critters were getting into the well Pump thingy that regulates the flow of water to the holding tank from the well. I had no water for 3 days before the repairman figured it out! Now I have to go out every once in a while and tap the little box to get the ants out of it and spray with ant killer (nasty). So my Uncle suggested Motor oil on the pipe going up to the "Thingy" now I have no ant problem!
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

September 27, 2010
6:14 AM

Post #8123461

Those must be fire ants , huh? they are bad attracted to electrical points . Do you still have that picture of all of themat the feeder under your porch ? If so , post it , that was something , seeing so many at one time .
Eufaula
Eatonton, GA
(Zone 8b)

September 27, 2010
6:18 AM

Post #8123470

Hmm I'll Have to wait until I get back home to my Computer. I think I still have that photo ! Its not unusual to have at least 13 to 15 Hummers at any given time in the late Spring, visiting my feeders.
Eufaula
Eatonton, GA
(Zone 8b)

September 27, 2010
11:02 AM

Post #8123929

Lets see...Hmmm ... How many are in this one?
Nope thats only three... Thumbnails so tiny I cant see whats in 'em!

This message was edited Sep 27, 2010 1:05 PM

Thumbnail by Eufaula
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Eufaula
Eatonton, GA
(Zone 8b)

September 27, 2010
11:07 AM

Post #8123947

This looks like a good many of them... lets see!
Its a good one ... Mr.Big Guy and his family , there were actually 9 here, one is on the opposite side drinking!

This message was edited Sep 27, 2010 1:12 PM

Thumbnail by Eufaula
Click the image for an enlarged view.

digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

September 27, 2010
11:35 AM

Post #8124024

The last one was the one you sent me . I only had three birds this year , until a week ago . Got a lot of travelers right now .
Organic_Joe
Berne, IN

March 23, 2011
3:36 PM

Post #8445775

If you donít want to have all the mess from the Vaseline, you can simply put an Ant Guard on your pole then hang the hummingbird feeder from it. It stops all ants in their tracks all season long!
http://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/ProductCart/pc/Perky-Pet-Ant-Guard-for-Hummingbird-Feeders-p270.htm
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

March 23, 2011
3:59 PM

Post #8445830

That's cool. How does it work? Is there a DIY version?
helenchild
Decatur, GA

March 24, 2011
3:25 AM

Post #8446635

I got one of those at Pikes. It works and isn't so messy as the vaseline.
Helen
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

March 24, 2011
3:30 AM

Post #8446639

Sounds good to me , I'll look .

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Highland Rim of TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 24, 2011
4:45 AM

Post #8446705

Hi digger -- are you back home?
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

March 24, 2011
8:30 AM

Post #8447172

C G , it'll be the middle of next week . We're going to stop in Houston and visit bubba mo-city have lunch at his place , then head east .Can't wait to smell my viburnums .
Eufaula
Eatonton, GA
(Zone 8b)

March 24, 2011
9:15 AM

Post #8447238

Be safe Digger, enjoy the ride and get home soon!
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

March 24, 2011
6:03 PM

Post #8448209

Gonna get to see my little sissy in a few days , and P P . hugs and lotsa kissee .

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