DYI – No More Ants in the Hummingbird Feeder

Unless you are very lucky, you, like everyone else has had an ant problem. Ants are interesting creatures. They live almost everywhere, and they eat almost anything. This makes Ant’s very successful. Every summer I have an ant problem, and this summer is no exception.

A few ants have moved into the house. Because it is so dry here, the ants come in looking for food and water. For the most part after about a week of trying to be home invaders, they either die off or they move back outside.

There are two main types of Ant’s here classified by what they prefer to eat. Grease Ants, which smell when you kill them, and sugar ants. This month, I am visited by Sugar Ants as there is not enough oil or grease in the house to entice Grease Ants.

Outside, the Sugar Ants were especially effective this year. They made the climb, en masse, up a five foot steel rod down a brass rod, and into the Hummingbird feeder, which naturally is full of sugar water. More than hundred dies in the sugar water.

Suicide Ants who gave their life for sugar water

Dead Ants in the Hummingbird feeder does not warm the heart

I might mention the manufacturer of my Hummingbird Feeder already thought about the Ant and sugar water problem. In the center where the hanging rod is, there is a small cup like area. This could be filled with oil. Ants coming down the hanging rod, get caught up in the oil and perish there, leaving the sugar water clean and ant free. The downside to this, is it is messy to clean. Oily dead Ants, and an oily feeder.

Hoping this hummingbird feeder invasion this was a fluke, I took down the Hummingbird Feeder, put in fresh sugar water, sprayed the feeder stand base with ant killer, and thought I was done. The next day another Ant army drowned in the hummingbird feeder. It was time to take action.

I took an empty water bottle, cut the bottom off, slit it open up the side, and used a heavy pair of nippers to cut the top threads. The plan was to slide the bottle onto the pole, tape it to the pole at the threaded area, and tape the side. Hanging on the feeder stand as an upside down bell, it will outsmart the ants. Or that is the plan.

When you hold an empty water bottle, it is amazing the full bottle made it from the bottling plant, across country, into the store and home without bursting. The plastic is so flimsy, a toddler could crush and empty water bottle.

The empty water bottle threaded area, I found is another story. There was no way, the threaded area was going to open wide enough to slide on the pole. It wasn’t going to happen unless I heated and then held a very hot surface until the bottle cooled. It was time for a “Plan B”. I took a second empty bottle out of the recycling bin, cut the bottom off and called it good.

I removed the feeder from the pole, and then the pole from the ground. I slid the bottle on the pole, and slid the pole back into its hole in the ground. I then took some heavy duty two inch tape and taped it in place on the pole. Plan “B” is a much simpler and easier method. It has been three days now and no Ant has figured out how to climb the bottle and up to the sugar water. I will call that, Ants 1, and myself 1, for a tie. I’ll take a tie anytime with Ants.

DYI Hummingbird Feeder Ant Blocker

DYI Hummingbird Ant Problem solution

Most problems are simple enough to solve, if only one can step back and objectively look at the problem. Being too close or invested in a problem clouds or hides the solution. If you have a problem, and almost everyone does, stepping back and thinking about new ways to solve the problem is a lot more helpful and meaningful, than trying the same solution over and over, hoping for a different outcome.

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