Ants can be one of the most common problems that hummingbird feeders will experience. These pests can pose a hazard to the birds that are attempting to use the feeder, and they can even clog the feeder by getting stuck in the sticky nectar. Despite these pests being resilient, it is possible to effectively protect your hummingbird feeder from this problem.
Regularly Check For Leaks
Nectar leaking out of the container can be a powerful attractant for ants. Ants are extremely adept at detecting sugar, and this can make it likely that scouts from the ant colony are likely to find these leaks. By checking the hummingbird feeder for leaks, you can quickly find and repair or replace the feeder before it is able to contribute to a major ant problem.
Thoroughly Wipe The Exterior Of The Feeder After Filling It
Spilling some of the nectar when refilling the feeder is another common cause of ants being attracted to it. The design of these feeders can make it very difficult to refill them without getting some of the contents on the sides or other components. Thoroughly wiping the exterior of the feeder after refilling it will allow for any nectar that spilled to be cleaned up. Ideally, you should use warm water when cleaning it and avoid the use of chemical cleaners, as the scent from the cleaners may repel any hummingbirds away from the feeder.
Use A Hummingbird Feeder That Is Ant Resistant
For homeowners that live in areas that have prevalent ant problems, it can be worthwhile to invest in a hummingbird feeder that is ant resistant. You can often find ant proof hummingbird feeders online. These feeders will have dispensers that are leak-proof so that there is no spare nectar to attract the ants, and they may also have supports or hangers that are difficult for ants to climb. This can severely discourage ants from targeting the hummingbird feeder.
Treat The Vicinity Around The Feeder With Ant Repellent
Sadly, some homeowners will find that their hummingbird feeder is still targeted by these pests. Treating the area with ant repellents can help in these situations. However, you will need to regularly apply these repellents throughout the spring and summer months to prevent ants from venturing close to the feeder. Also, ant repellents that are safe for use around hummingbirds should be used. The small size of hummingbirds can make them extremely sensitive to pesticides, and using ones that are too strong or toxic can cause severe health problems for these birds.
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