How do you keep a hummingbird feeder from dripping and attracting ants

How do you keep a hummingbird feeder from dripping and attracting ants?
  6 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 12, 2017
    I do not know why it is dripping,however a deterrent would be to rub the feeder with vaseline.

  • Ray Plummer Ray Plummer on Apr 13, 2017
    Ant moats are fantastic, just fill with water and attach the feeder to the bottom, you can get them at Home Depot or Lowes.
    Do not use Vaseline, if this gets onto the hummers wings it will mess up its feathers and will not be able to fly.
    Hummers are delicate little things.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 13, 2017
    all sites say to put vaseline

  • A A on Apr 13, 2017
    The best way is to figure out why it's dripping; maybe you just need a rubber washer/gasket where the bottle connects to the feeder section (if that's where it's leaking). My sister uses the ant moats that Ray suggested and she has no problem with ants. Mine doesn't leak so I don't have a problem with ants however, it's the bees that swarm all over the feeder sometimes. So far they haven't nested and I'm glad to have the bees, so they can have it. They leave once the sugar water is gone.

    I wonder if Vaseline would deter squirrels from my other bird feeders, I might try it - the squirrels in my yard seem immune to the hot pepper concoction.

    • See 2 previous
    • A A on Apr 30, 2017
      I tried the slinky idea, but to no avail. I make my bird feeders so I want them hanging outside, however I may not fill them since I seem to have gifted squirrels. BTW: I do catch and release them but there's a never ending flow of new recruits.

  • Thelma Thelma on Apr 13, 2017
    Don't put the Vaseline on the feeder, put a thin layer of it only on the wire, chain, etc. from which the feeder is hanging. The hummingbirds will not touch the 'hanger' as they're after the openings to get the nectar. The Vaseline prevents ants, earwigs, and all other crawling insects and mice from using the 'hanger' as a roadway to the feeder below. This is way I was taught to protect the feeder when I was only 10-yrs-old, I've used this method for 60+ years and have never had any problems.

    • See 1 previous
    • Thelma Thelma on Apr 14, 2017
      Jennifer Plummer, I read the entire article on and nowhere in the article did it say to keep the Vaseline off the wire holding the feeder for hummingbirds. Hummingbirds do NOT land on the wire and if a person simply uses their brain and puts the Vaseline around the top 1" of the wire under the limb, etc., the hummingbirds will never touch it. Sorry, but I don't, not for even 1 min., believe my method of keeping the 'nectar' clean and uncontaminated has ever, or will ever harm my favorite bird. I do believe that lots of hummers are killed every year by contaminated liquid in the unclean feeders. Dead ants, earwigs, etc. make a nasty mess that turn the nectar into a moldy, stinky, and poisonous liquid for hungry hummers. I'll stay with my tried and true method which also has had numerous hummers raise their little ones in nests close to my feeders.

  • Susan Susan on Apr 30, 2017
    We use a moat made from a larger sunken dish and put the feeder in the center-the ants go in and drown. I would never use vaseline.