How to Make a Moat to Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird Feeders

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If you feed hummingbirds, you know that the nectar can attract ants like the proverbial flies to honey. The ants climb down the feeder's hanging wire and down the side of the feeder, then feast on the sugar water at the feeder ports. You may have seen hummingbirds dive-bombing the feeder in an attempt to get rid of the ants. You can help the hummers eat in peace if you install an ant "moat" between the feeder and the hanging hook.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic spray-can cap
  • Drill with 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Piece of heavy wire or wire coat hanger
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Hot glue gun
  • Drill a hole in the center of the plastic spray-can cap, using your drill and 1/8-inch drill bit.

  • Cut a straight piece of heavy wire or wire coat hanger about 6 inches long, using your wire cutters. This wire will serve as an extension hook for your hummingbird feeder, so make it longer or shorter as needed, depending on the spot where you hang your feeder.

  • Insert the wire through the hole in your plastic cap. Position the cap in the middle of the wire. Seal the gap around the wire, inside the cap and on the outside, using your hot glue gun. Allow the glue to cool. Fill the cap with water and check for any drips. Apply more glue if the seal is leaking.

  • Hold the cap so the open end is facing up. Make a loop on the top part of the wire with your needle-nose pliers. This loop will hang from the hook where you hang your hummingbird feeder. Make an open loop in the bottom part of the wire. Your feeder will hang from this loop.

  • Hang your ant moat from your feeder hook, then hang your feeder from the bottom hook of the moat. Fill the plastic cap with water. The ants will fall into the water and won't be able to crawl down the wire to the feeder. Keep the moat filled with water to deter the ants.

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  • Photo Credit Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images
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