Hummingbirds are one of nature's most beautiful and shy birds. Many homeowners may try to attract them using hummingbird feeders, which contain a sweet water that they love. Yet these birds aren't the only ones who appreciate sugary water. Ants do too. If hummingbirds encounter an ant in their feeder, they most likely won't come back, and this can be very frustrating for the average bird lover. Yet how are you supposed to keep this invasive pest away? Consider these tips to keep ants out of your hummingbird feeder.
Look for leaks
Ants will only know that there is sugar water nearby if they get a taste of it on the ground. Most hummingbirds aren't messy, and usually can feed without too many spills. So if you have an ant problem, it may be because your feeder is leaking, the World of Hummingbirds noted. Sometimes these feeders will leak after drastic temperature changes that cause the feeder to expand in size. Regularly check to make sure your feeder is dispensing normally and isn't cracked.
Keep it shaded
Don't hang the feeder in any area that gets direct sunlight, the San Francisco Chronicle advised. Instead, try to keep in a spot with a little sun but lots of shade. It will prevent the feeder from overheating and expanding. Heat can also make the nectar become more of a syrup that will drip down the sides of the feeder and attract ants. However, don't put this feeder in complete shade. Hummingbirds appreciate a little sun and may not notice the feeder if it's hidden by darkness.
Hang it wisely
How you hang your feeder may have some effect on whether an ant will climb up it or not. The smartest way to hang your feeder is using fishing line. This line is strong enough to support the weight of the feeder and a resting hummingbird without snapping. However, this type of line is also very slippery, meaning ants will have a hard time grasping it to climb down and access the feeder. Some homeowners may want to put sticky substances such as Vaseline on the outside of the feeder to catch the ants. However, a hummingbird may swipe some of the jelly and get it on their wings, which can make flying hard for this tiny bird.
Use a trap
If all else fails, get an ant trap for your hummingbird feeder. They actually make specific traps for hummingbird feeders known as ant guards. These small traps lure ants in, but block ants from accessing the feeder.
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