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Old 03-20-2009, 01:25 AM   #1
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Default Ways to keep tree ants from getting into the feeder

Last year I was having an awful problem with black tree ants getting into my hummingbird feeders. they would just march right up the metal pole and right down onto and into my hummers feeder. When the ants are inside one of the plastic flowers the birds will not feed-it is like they are scared of the tree ants.

anyway someone in the hummingbird aisle at Walmart suggested putting a "splash of vegtable oil"on the feeder and pole. and you know what-it works the ants would not climb the pole and would not cross the oil to even get back to their colony it was like instantanous problem solver. The problem is that the cooking oil gets rancid and also starts "collecting" seed from the other feeder just above it, making the hummingbird feeder a black, seedy mess to clean.

And by the way, the hummingbirds are NOT affected by the vegetable oil at all, they come and go and enjoy just like always. just a thin coating on the feeder will do.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:30 AM   #2
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Default thanks re feeder tip

we always have the same trouble with ants, even in feeders that aren't hung from trees, just from metal poles. Will try this. We don't have seed feeders over the nectar feeders, so that part shouldn't be a problem
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:19 AM   #3
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Nice tip. Thanks!
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:38 PM   #4
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I have heard lemon juice works too. Does it?
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:10 AM   #5
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You can get an inexpensive little moat to put on the wire that the hummingbird feeder hangs from. You fill it with water (I refill when I water the garden) and the ants can't cross. It works great. Check it at Ant moat guards for hummingbird feeders Hummingbirds Forever
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:05 AM   #6
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Do any big box stores have those? Those look like they would work.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:46 PM   #7
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I got mine at the Wild Bird Center.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:21 AM   #8
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I will check it out. Thanks Leslie.
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:13 PM   #9
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Tried the oil trick last year, no ants. I did still have bees trying to dine on the feeders in the fall.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupine View Post
Tried the oil trick last year, no ants. I did still have bees trying to dine on the feeders in the fall.
It is amazing just how well the veg. oil does work. I was looking at the "in line cups" that are advertised above. I am afraid my enterprising tree ants would just form big ant chains to cross it. With the oil, they scrambled out of the feeder, dropping to the ground rather than cross the oil and left it alone for weeks at a time, letting the hummers have at ant free.


Perenial-any plant which had it lived, would have come back year after year.
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