Easiest Way to Get Rid Of Ants on Feeders

3 Materials
15 Minutes

"Hmmm." I wondered.
Why aren't the hummingbirds using one of my two feeders anymore? They used to, but now they don't.
Was it the color? The spouts? The mixture of sugar to water?
I'll post a pic and you see if you can figure it out.

3 feeders. One of them is NOT being used.
Take a guess WHICH of these feeders is NO LONGER BEING USED.
Green, butterfly or red.
Here's a clue.
One of these feeders has these ants coming to them, the others do not.
Hummingbirds will not use a feeder that has ants on it.
Would you?
This one! The green one.
I just figured out why.
It is easy for ants to climb the cord but they avoid the ones suspended with thin wire or fishing line.
Hundreds of ants were on this feeder and the beam above it, attracted to the sugar water.
What to do?
FIRST I corrected my mistake...
by rehanging the feeder on a thin wire

(Edit added for clarification)
I waited and watched the troops unsuccessfully attempting full retreat.
They slipped and slid trying to get up the thin wire, frantically bumping into one another, sliding back down.

Then, I put them out of their misery.
I made a mix of half vinegar : half water in a spray bottle, and sprayed the beam and feeder.
Finally, I hosed it all down, nice and clean.

Ant-free feeders
All three feeders are now ANT FREE.
Hung high out of the way suspended from a thin wire or fishing line.
No, you do NOT need to make or buy an ant moat or trap, grease with use vaseline or butter, or keep poisoning the critters ...
Sometimes the simplest solution is to outthink your enemies.
Don't give them a ladder if you don't want them to climb in.

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
15 Fabulous Fire Pits For Your Backyard
If Your Stairway Walls Are Empty, Here Are 25 Ways To Change Them Now!
Browse Through These Dream Bedrooms & Find Your Favorite!
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
Craft Organization Ideas Mom Will Love
31 Super Cute & Easy DIY Ideas For Your Kitchen
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
15 Amazing Things You Can Make With Dollar Store Gems
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas

Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Carol
    on Jun 17, 2018

    Thanks. Now, how do I get rid of wasps on the feeders?

  • Despoina Alisafaki
    on Jun 18, 2018

    First I wanted to say beautiful feeders ,and second I wanted to ask what you can do with ants on your flowers . Because in that case they use the flowers or the tree as a ladder  so do you know if the water with the vinegar will harm the flowers? Thanks

  • She12365891
    on Jun 19, 2018

    Have you ever used spray cooking oil? Ants won't cross oil. My feeders are on a wrought iron stakes. Lightly spray about !/2 way up so butterflies won't get in the oil. And please don't put red food color in with your sugar water. They don't like it and a lady on another site says it will kill Hummers.

    • Pat Walker Sparks
      on Aug 3, 2018

      I don't believe they eat ants. If that were true, there would not be an ant problem on the feeders. I have never seen them eating them on the feeders.

Join the conversation

2 of 53 comments
  • Tami Stone
    on Oct 30, 2018

    If you put a tiny terra cotta clay pot (the craft kind) and hot glue it to where the string/wire is attached and fill it with water... The ants drown. they cant get past the water cuz they can't swim. I did this during the spring and it worked wonderfully.

  • Glenn Shannon
    on Oct 30, 2019

    A product called Tangle foot will stop ants from using the cord on the feeder and is so sticky if you get it on your hands the only thing that will take it off is a hand full of dry dirt.

Your comment...