my mother takes cotton and dips it into some kind of bug killer(not sure what kind) but then she wraps it around the pole that holds the feeder, when the ants start to climb the pole, they smell the bug killer and run back the other way. It don't hurt the hummers though, b/c she puts it down away from the feeder itself.
Mingsmimi, I saw a great thing to keep ants out of hummingbird feeders in this magazine Birds and Blooms. It had a picture of it home made. I will try and post the picture so you can get the idea. You take a cap off a clothes detergent bottle and put a small hole in the middle of cap and put a small wood dial in the hole with it coming out about an inch and ahalf on top and bottom of cap. Glue around the hole good, drill a small hole in the top and bottom of dial and tie it to feeder top and put string hook in tree or hanger.Fill the soap cap with water. The ants after climbing down the wood dial cannot cross the moat of water. I guess this sounds complicated but I saw the picture and it is a sure thing to keep ants out of the feeders. We tried vasline on the bottom some ants got stuck but some managed to always get in. Beebalm
Calalily, you sly dog. Only kidding. You posted that person that I don't know on the web. He-He. I did get my computer fixed. How tall do you think the purple beebalm will get. Do you think it will get as tall as the red. I am going to Vanderbilt Hospital tommorw to have that check up thing. Will be back in a few days. Can you sill keep my hostas for me. Beebalm
Beebalm, I saw those hostas today and couldn't remember whose they were. I think I need a check up too. Hope everything turns out fine and I'll still watch the hostas for you.
The purple beebalm that you got gets 3 or 4 feet tall. If you pinch it, it stays a bit shorter.
And speaking of sly...Thanks for the paintings you left with DH for me. They are really nice and I meant to thank you when you called the other day.
I haven't had any luck keeping the ants away, so I gave up on the humming bird feeder. Plus, I get those little flying insects that get in there too. However, I seem to have a few humming birds around anyway. I've seen them twice already buzzing around my columbine...or in that area.
Some friends of mine went to a Garden store and bought a product for keeping bugs from climbing fruit trees. It is called Tanglefoot and they paint it on the post or on the S hook that attaches the hummingbird feeder to anything. Seems the first few ants climb onto the Tanglefoot and get stuck and then the ants avoid the area for the whole season. I am going to try this, this year, myself. Lani
yes hczone6 that would keep them off your trees as long as the eggs were laid elsewhere. My friends said that it lasts all season at their Western Oregon home (humid). With our dust storms here I will probably have to reapply a few times. Time will tell.
It's 5 years after you'all talked about humming bird feeder and ants ... If any of you ever check back, I just wanted you to know I did a search on 'humming bird food and ants' and BINGO there you'all were ... We're going to start with the Vasoline ploy. Thank you!
It's been a month since I announced I was going to try the Vaseline ploy. It worked ... for a month. Now they're back. I'm in Northern California and I believe these are the tiny Argentine ants that have invaded California. My problem is that here it approaches 100o in the shade at times and the Vaseline melts, thins out and runs off. I just re-painted the feeder with globs of Vaseline to see if that will get me past a month.
Bev: I'm curious about your fishing line technique. How does that work? Are you suggesting the ants won't come down the fishing line? What type of line? I would think my little ants could come down just about any line. ... But I'll try it ... I need help. Thank you, Tom
Yeah, my Vaseline melts too. I've had to watch it carefully in this heat. I ran out of that a couple weeks ago and used Vicks instead...it works too.
I've done the insecticide doused cotton near the base of my feeder and the gooey stuff up just a little. Works pretty good...and I do clean my feeders every other day because of the excessive heat...just a bug or two inside is all that I've ever found.
Im going to try some of these remedies for the ants. I had so many ants taking over my feeders last spring that I refused to put them out this year. I just kept moving the feeders around but the ants always followed.
Just figured out a new way to keep ants off of a hummingbird feeder. Take a rubber drain plug (the white ones with the ring through the top). Cut off the part where the ring sticks through. Then poke a hole through the middle of it with the tip of a pen. Thread the wire you hang your feeder with through the drain plug upside-down (see picture). Then fill the upside-down plug with water. It acts like a moat. Make sure the hole you poke through the plug is smaller than your wire so that the water doesn't leak.
Trackinsand ~ that YJ thread was a Ca. DGr and she was elated when the Pam worked after nothing else did. I might be able to find it if anyone is interested.
For ants here I use a little olive oil (just cause its' what I cook with) but cooking oil works too. Moisten my finger with it and lightly coat the hanger. Works fine till I refuel the feeders when I reapply. Our intense heat doesn't melt it any more than I melt... lol
A couple of years ago I purchased a commercial ant guard they have never been back. This is not where I got it, but it is the same item. I purchased at my Ace Hardware store. I have never "recharged" the pyrethrin, maybe the ants are smarter than we think and remember that the route was way too dangerous to ever take it again. They need to go down the equivalent of an inverted cup, back up the inside of the cup, down a rod and over a washer and then eventually get to the prize. http://www.birdsanctum.com/product/PP-516022-9923
Another devise that I use with the feeder is a coat hanger. Unwind at the hangy thing. Straighten. Hook the hangy thing over the gutter. Mark desired length. Bend back up at that point. About an inch up the bend, rebend to have the excess point out. Easy to install without any tools. Easy to reposition anywhere along the gutter. I also use this hanger for thistle seed "socks" for the finches.