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 Hummingbird Season
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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6868 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6868 Posts

Posted - Mar 18 2022 :  1:01:41 PM  Show Profile
I hung three hummingbird feeders today in hopes of them being visited my hummers. My track record on feeding hummingbirds is dim mostly due to ants contaminating the nectar.

Does anyone have a tried and true way of keeping ants off the feeders? I have tried baking soda, red pepper flakes, and hot pepper sauce.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 & Feb 2019

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.

ddmashayekhi
True Blue Farmgirl

4735 Posts

Dawn
Naperville Illinois
USA
4735 Posts

Posted - Mar 18 2022 :  2:40:50 PM  Show Profile
I am also curious to know if anyone has a way to keep the ants out of the nectar. We get hummingbirds in the spring & summer and I tried to put out a feeder only to attract ants.

Dawn in IL

"Spring is when you feel like whistling, even with a shoe full of slush."
Doug Larson
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Red Tractor Girl
True Blue Farmgirl

6573 Posts

Winnie
Gainesville Fl
USA
6573 Posts

Posted - Mar 18 2022 :  5:02:09 PM  Show Profile
Sara, that is frustrating to have the ants invade! My ants invade my house and I would be happy if they invaded the feeder instead. The only thing I can think of that might help, it to purchase some ant traps that you poke into the ground where the ants originate. The Terro traps make them and I find mine at the ACE hardware store. Easy to use and when the ants find them, they attract them in big numbers.

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
FGOTM- October 2018
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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6868 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6868 Posts

Posted - Mar 19 2022 :  07:18:27 AM  Show Profile
Winnie, I hear you about ants in the house. Year before last I had them in my kitchen and bathroom. Had the house treated for termites and it took care of the ant problem too. So far I have seen at least four different kinds of ants in my little yard. Texas has more than our share of ants and other creepy crawlers.

Found Terro traps for outdoors on Amazon and should be delivered on Mon. Thanks for telling me about them.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 & Feb 2019

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.
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Audra Rose
True Blue Farmgirl

2230 Posts

Vanessa
Brooksville KY
USA
2230 Posts

Posted - Mar 20 2022 :  03:09:54 AM  Show Profile
Some hummingbird feeders have cups at the top of them where they have the hanger. These cups can be filled with water. Ants can't get across it. The challenge is to keep the cups filled. My bees love the hummingbird feeders but I can't do anything to them.

Vanessa
Farmgirl Sister #6754
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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6868 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6868 Posts

Posted - Mar 20 2022 :  03:52:46 AM  Show Profile
Thanks Vanessa. I will try putting water on the top of my feeders. Have you ever had butterflies to drink the water?

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 & Feb 2019

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.
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Audra Rose
True Blue Farmgirl

2230 Posts

Vanessa
Brooksville KY
USA
2230 Posts

Posted - Mar 20 2022 :  1:41:00 PM  Show Profile
I can't recall seeing any. They may prefer the natural nectar.

Vanessa
Farmgirl Sister #6754
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lovecatsandsunshine
True Blue Farmgirl

261 Posts

Tara
Sands of Time SC
USA
261 Posts

Posted - Mar 25 2022 :  06:30:49 AM  Show Profile
Hummers eat the insects that get in nectar. Last year wasps were a problem with feeder that is on deck railing. I keep a flat dish with rocks and add a bit of water for bees to drink. Only way I know to keep them from feeder. I have 2 feeders up. not sure when they are first seen in Upstate SC. I live in Lyman, 20 min from Greenville. There are thick woods behind my rental and a river. When I moved in last April I saw one at feeder April 12.
I have always made my own nectar: 4 cups boiling water , 1 cup of cane sugar and a spoonful of love : )
during the very hot days I add a cup of water making a 5 to 1 recipe. And change the nectar daily. I keep a clean, ready to fill feeder on stand by so it's ready to hang up.

Today's good mood brought to you by coffee
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levisgrammy
True Blue Farmgirl

9291 Posts

Denise
Beavercreek Ohio
USA
9291 Posts

Posted - Mar 25 2022 :  06:42:32 AM  Show Profile
I stopped hanging the feeders due to ants also.

I have read you should only use white sugar because any other kind does something to their tongues and that kills them. Anyone else heard this?

~Denise
Sister #43~1/18/2007

"I am a bookaholic and I have no desire to be cured."

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Edited by - levisgrammy on Mar 25 2022 06:43:07 AM
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sherone_13
True Blue Farmgirl

2460 Posts

Sherone
Evanston WY
USA
2460 Posts

Posted - Mar 25 2022 :  06:48:04 AM  Show Profile
Not sure about feeders, but I use cinnamon in my greenhouse to get rid of ants. It works really good. I wonder if you came up with a cinnamon spray to coat the support of the feeder. I agree with Tara about the birds eating the ants.

Sherone

Lean on me, when you're not strong, And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on, For it won't be long, 'Til I'm gonna need, Somebody to lean on.

Farmgirl Sister #93
FGOTM August 2021

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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6868 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6868 Posts

Posted - Apr 01 2022 :  12:58:49 PM  Show Profile
Saw my first hummer today and so far no ants.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 & Feb 2019

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.
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Red Tractor Girl
True Blue Farmgirl

6573 Posts

Winnie
Gainesville Fl
USA
6573 Posts

Posted - Apr 05 2022 :  11:26:38 AM  Show Profile
We saw our first Hummer was seen on 3/26 this year according to my little journal that I am doing this year.
Sara, we have had our local pest control out this week because the ants have been awful. They are coming tomorrow for a big treatment with baiting and spraying. They are in the walls and finding all sorts of little cracks to pour out of. The pest control guy said we will get them out but it will take several treatments. I can't wait!!

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
FGOTM- October 2018
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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

6868 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
6868 Posts

Posted - Apr 05 2022 :  1:42:01 PM  Show Profile
Winnie, I never thought about them getting into the walls. I know you will be happy when they are all gone.

I saw that one hummingbird and none sense. Maybe they come when my back is turned. The feeder I had on the back deck I took down because the ants found it. The two feeders in front are easier to treat for ants so I will keep them.

The hummingbirds in my area of Texas are not pretty at all. Just dark tiny birds. Once in a great while if the sun catches the feathers just right there may be a sheen of green.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 & Feb 2019

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.
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katmom
True Blue Farmgirl

17136 Posts

Grace
WACAL Gal WashCalif.
USA
17136 Posts

Posted - May 18 2022 :  10:28:03 PM  Show Profile
This may sound strange,, but,, I glob on Lard,, yes good old Crisco Lard 3/4 the way up the Shepards hook that holds the feeder.(about 2" tall and 3/4" thick. As the sun warms, the lard gets sticky/tacky and the ants cant cross over w/o getting stuck. Then after the summer and before putting the feeders away, I clean the lard goop off. So no toxic chemicals.
The Hummers can still eat the ants if they want,, my only problem is the wasps/hornets.. so I put up several feeders,, for some reason, they wasp/hornets seem to congregate at the same feeder. Not sure why.

As for Hummers,, my 1st one showed up at my window this past Monday,, so I made some nectar and hung it that day,,, Tuesday a little hummer showed up and today I think it might have been the same one that showed up again.

>^..^<
Happiness is being a katmom and Glamping Diva!
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ddmashayekhi
True Blue Farmgirl

4735 Posts

Dawn
Naperville Illinois
USA
4735 Posts

Posted - May 19 2022 :  08:13:31 AM  Show Profile
Interesting idea to use lard Grace. Thanks for sharing. Hope you don't get stung!

Dawn in IL

“May means long walks in the evenings, eating outside in the garden whenever possible, and lots of healthy, fresh salads to use up all the lovely summer veg that’s available.” – Sophie Morris
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ceridwen
True Blue Farmgirl

899 Posts

Carole
New York
USA
899 Posts

Posted - May 19 2022 :  08:36:33 AM  Show Profile
Sherone, I wonder if putting cinnamon in the top trap of the feeder would work?

I too have no luck with feeders. I do not see an ant unit I put a feeder up. I've used Vaseline and even bought a fancy feeder with a water trap at the top and they still manage to get in the feeder. I'm convinced that Ants have mini parachute on their backs that they deploy and land on my hummingbird feeder ... researchers just haven't discovered it yet!

Carole
Farmgirl Sister 3610 - Nov 7/2011
http:www.carolesquiltingetc.com

Edited by - ceridwen on May 19 2022 08:45:38 AM
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