How to keep ants out of hummingbird feeders – 5 expert-approved tricks

Use ant moats Ant moats, available from Amazon, are one of the best ways to keep ants out. These little water bowls block ants. Stainless steel ant moats are weatherproof and easy to clean.  

Zach Hutchinson is a hummingbird bander, ornithologist for the nation's leading bird conservation nonprofit, and wild bird feeding industry consultant.

He says many hummingbird feeders have water-filled moats on top. These moats can keep ants from getting to the nectar, even if they don't seem like old moats.  

Maintain cleanliness Cleaning regularly reduces ants and keeps bees away from hummingbird feeders. Little and often is excellent, and Trent Copperfield, Vice President of On Demand Pest Control, suggests daily hummingbird feeder cleaning. This prevents ant-attracting residue.   

Placement matters Hummingbird feeder placement is crucial. The ideal location is a shady area away from trees and other obstacles that ants could use to bridge the feeder. Keeping the nectar fresh requires a cool, visible location.  

Zach Hutchinson says 'Being nearby to ant colonies, ant aphid farms, or too near things that already attract ants will increase your ant problem' However, mounting a hummingbird without ground contact reduces ant access.   

Sprinkle cinnamon. Cinnamon makes a strong ant repellent and can also be used to kill kitchen ants.  

Avoid insecticides Your wildlife garden should not contain harsh chemicals and pesticides that can kill hummingbirds and other backyard birds. Experts say many insect repellents can harm bees and butterflies and are more expensive and ineffective than cleaning and cinnamon.