If you have ants raiding your hummingbird feeder, this simple DIY moat will prevent them from ever reaching the sugar water. I’ve been using mine for a while now, and it completely solved the problem.
NEW! Click play to listen:
You can subscribe to our free podcast here: Two Minutes in the Garden.
How Hummingbird Feeder Moats Work
Ants can be very disruptive at hummingbird feeders. Attracted to the sugar water, they climb all the way up and around the shepherd’s hooks, and down onto the feeder. Once at the feeder, they descend into the sugar water to feast or drown.
As much as hummingbirds like to eat both ants and nectar, they do not like the two combined, and they will stop feeding if the ant invasion is too much.
The idea with the moat is: a cup of water is hung from the shepherd’s hook, and the actual feeder is suspended below it. Now, when the ants come marching, the moat is the first thing they encounter on their way to the feeder. With no where to go but down the middle eye hook, they either drown in the cup of water or give up and walk all the way back to the ground. Meanwhile, the hummingbird feeder remains ant-free.
|See it on Amazon||See it on Amazon|
The least expensive hummingbird feeder moats on Amazon retail for around $9. The supplies for mine cost a few dollars. It’s not a huge savings but perhaps worth making one, especially if you already have the supplies on hand. The whole project takes just minutes to make.
Related: Hummingbird Migration Map | Where are they now?
See How It’s Made
How to Make a Hummingbird Feeder Moat
Supplies & Tools
- (2) Eye hooks: 3/16-inch diameter, 4-inches long.
- (2) 3/16-inch nuts
- (2) 3/16-inch washers
- (1) 3/16-inch coupling nut (to join the eye hooks)
- (1) plastic cup, kiddie bowl, or lid from spray paint can
- Silicone Sealant (outdoor, waterproof) or Plumber’s Puddy or similar waterproof product
- Electric drill and 3/16-inch drill bit
- Small wrench to tighten nuts
Notes: I used 3/16-inch materials. You can use any size from 1/8 to 5/16-inch: just make sure everything including the drill bit are the same diameter.
You could use J hooks instead of eye hooks. I choose eye hooks because the squirrels and chipmunks have a harder time knocking them off.
1. Drill a hole in the middle of the plastic cup. Use a drill bit the same diameter as the eye hooks.
2. Place the nut on the lower eye hook as close to the eye as it can go. Add the washer.
3. Add a dab of Silicone Sealant to the underside of the cup where the washer will touch.
4. Add a dab of Silicone Sealant inside the cup around the hole where the second washer will rest.
5. Thread the lower eye hook up through the cup. The lower nut and washer will press against the cup (but don’t snap the plastic!).
6. Place the second washer down the eye hook to the bottom (inside) of the cup. Then add the second nut and tighten. You may need to use a wrench -gently.
7. Attach the coupling nut to the lower eye hook, with half the nut still available.
8. Insert the top eye hook into the coupling nut.
Allow Silicone Sealant to dry (most take 2 hours). Then hang moat from shepherd’s hook and hang hummingbird feeder from moat. And say good-bye to the ants.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛