The Clever Trick That Keeps Ants Out Of Your Hummingbird Feeder

If you love to watch hummingbirds buzz around your backyard while enjoying your morning coffee, chances are you have a few birdfeeders in your garden. While it can be a charming picture, it comes with its own set of problems. That's because hummingbirds aren't the only neighborhood animals that come to snack on the nectar inside. Ants also have a tendency to make a beeline for it. That's because they see sugar as food and march towards it every time. This, in turn, will discourage the hummingbirds from returning to the feeder since they'll see it as contaminated. But that doesn't mean you have to take it down and lose your morning ritual. Instead, use a fishing line to keep the pests out.

If you're an avid fisher or have a spare roll from hanging up decorations, this can help you fix your problem without going to the store. Just grab the line out of your garage, and make it harder for ants to invade your feeders. Here's how to do it.

How to use fishing line to keep ants out

Rather than living with ants marching up and down your birdfeeder, grab a fishing line and stop your problem. What you'll specifically need to do is swap out the rope that your feeder hangs on. Most use thick ropes to hang off poles and trees, which ants can easily walk up and down on. What you want to do instead is swap out the rope for something super thin, making it impossible for them to cross. That's where the fishing line comes in. Most fishing lines are .005 to .010 inches in diameter, making them very difficult for ants to walk on. Plus, they're slippery in nature, making it challenging for them to get enough grip to try and cross down to the nectar. 

All you need to do is take your bird feeder down, remove the original rope, and measure out the line to match the rope's length. Tie it onto the feeder, and hang it back on the pole. A few ants might try to cross it but will soon give up because it's too challenging. Instead, they will go and try to find an easier food source.

Some caveats to keep in mind

There are a few things to keep in mind before trying this pest-repellant hack. First, you want to buy a line that supports enough weight of not only a nectar-filled feeder, but also the several hummingbirds that will sit on it to feed. This means you will want a line that supports at least 2 pounds. However, also keep in mind that the more weight the line supports, the thicker the cord will be. For example, a line that can hold up to 2 pounds is .005 inches in diameter, but a line that supports 8 pounds is .010 inches. The thicker the line, the easier it will be for ants to cross. Still, it will be thinner than the original rope, so it will still work relatively well.

Secondly, since the wire is slippery, you will need to check the feeder periodically to make sure the knots are still tight. They will begin to slip over time, so checking on them biweekly will ensure the feeder won't accidentally come crashing down.