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Garden Talk: hummingbird feeders...ants!!!! EW!

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mingsmimi
Sharpsville, PA
(Zone 5a)

May 28, 2002
1:12 AM

Post #30709

So, What do I do? Ants no matter where I put it. thats why I got rid of mine years ago. A friend talked me into getting another . Do those ant trap attachments really work?
mystic
Ewing, KY
(Zone 6a)


May 28, 2002
1:56 AM

Post #269632

If you put vegtable oil around the bottom it helps.
mingsmimi
Sharpsville, PA
(Zone 5a)

May 28, 2002
2:04 AM

Post #269639

don;t things stick to it?
MOLLYBEE
Villa Rica, GA
(Zone 7a)

May 28, 2002
2:46 AM

Post #269667

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.
Beebalm
Powell, TN

May 28, 2002
2:52 AM

Post #269672

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
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

May 28, 2002
2:54 AM

Post #269673

I think my friend Cindy has something like that fixed on hers and it works. Good to see you back Beebalm, did you get everything with your computer fixed?
Beebalm
Powell, TN

May 28, 2002
2:55 AM

Post #269674

Mollybee, that sounds like a good thing to do. While I was typing the other thing to do you had a good suggestion. Beebalm
Beebalm
Powell, TN

May 28, 2002
2:59 AM

Post #269679

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
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

May 28, 2002
3:07 AM

Post #269686

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.

This message was edited Monday, May 27th 11:08 PM
Beebalm
Powell, TN

May 28, 2002
3:21 AM

Post #269701

Calalily I will get out to get them as soom as I get back. Leaving in the morning. Thanks.Beebalm
hczone6
Cincinnati (area), OH
(Zone 6a)

May 28, 2002
2:16 PM

Post #269927

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.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 28, 2002
3:09 PM

Post #269966

I have pretty good luck just putting vasoline on the string that the feeder hangs by. Guess the ants don't want to get their little feets all gunky.
Ponditis
Payette, ID
(Zone 7a)

May 29, 2002
3:42 AM

Post #270345

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
hczone6
Cincinnati (area), OH
(Zone 6a)

May 29, 2002
11:37 AM

Post #270444

Hey that tanglefoot sounds like a good idea for keeping tent catipillars off of my trees. I might have to try some of that.
mingsmimi
Sharpsville, PA
(Zone 5a)

May 29, 2002
11:57 AM

Post #270453

hhmmmm interesting product name!

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


May 29, 2002
1:01 PM

Post #270489

I put vasaline on a pipe cleaner and wrap it wherever I want to keep them from going.Works great.
Ponditis
Payette, ID
(Zone 7a)

May 29, 2002
1:19 PM

Post #270496

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.
hczone6
Cincinnati (area), OH
(Zone 6a)

May 29, 2002
5:45 PM

Post #270633

Found the Tanglefoot: http://www.tanglefoot.com/products/treecare.htm
Ponditis
Payette, ID
(Zone 7a)

May 30, 2002
4:35 AM

Post #271088

Thanks for finding that. I bought some today and put it on the hummer feeder and immediately caught some ants. Yeaaa
Lani
TomAdams
El Dorado Hills, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 28, 2007
6:35 PM

Post #3789685

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!

dragonfly62

dragonfly62
Nilwood, IL
(Zone 5b)

July 28, 2007
7:03 PM

Post #3789775

Something else that works and I finnally tried this year and that is hang your feeder on fishing line. Works for me. Bev
birdsnblooms

(Zone 5b)

August 6, 2007
7:06 PM

Post #3824932

I have mine hanging in the crook of a two-sided shepherd's hook. Regular ants don't get in there, but the flying kind do. Sigh.

I never fill my feeder completely up. I fill only about 1/3, and clean 1-2 times a week, so there's not a huge amount wasted when bugs do get in there.
TomAdams
El Dorado Hills, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 26, 2007
12:08 AM

Post #3900204

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

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


August 26, 2007
1:01 PM

Post #3901368

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.
ravenswing01
Sharptown, MD

August 27, 2007
1:35 AM

Post #3903750

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.
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 27, 2007
1:45 AM

Post #3903846

I have mine hanging on 5 inches of clear nylon fishing line.
ravenswing01
Sharptown, MD

August 27, 2007
6:16 PM

Post #3906085

Indy, now that's an idea...think ill try it :)

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 7, 2007
1:43 AM

Post #3945773

Pam cooking spray works great. it keeps the ants and bees and yellow jackets away and doesn't hurt the birds. just spray the feeder.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


September 7, 2007
12:44 PM

Post #3946842

Ohhh...good one. I got Yellow Jackets.

jordankittyjo

jordankittyjo
Bessemer, AL
(Zone 8b)

September 7, 2007
12:48 PM

Post #3946851

i use vasaline, the ants don't like it

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 7, 2007
12:49 PM

Post #3946857

i learned this trick from a very cool thread on dg some time back. i wish i knew which one. i'm sure a search would turn it up somewhere! lol good luck!

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 7, 2007
12:50 PM

Post #3946862

the problem with vaseline is that it melts and gets thick and icky. cooking spray is just so easy...
solaroh
Santa Monica, CA

September 25, 2007
5:41 AM

Post #4014514

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.

Thumbnail by solaroh
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 26, 2007
1:42 AM

Post #4017460

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

PotEmUp

PotEmUp
Fremont, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 30, 2007
1:24 AM

Post #4032097

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.

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