How To Make Your Own Ant Moat To Keep Pests Out Of Your Hummingbird Feeder

The delightful dance of hummingbirds sipping nectar is a sight to behold. That's until you spot pesky ants turning your hummingbird feeder into their sugar banquet. Ants' adoration for the nectar in hummingbird feeders is unwavering, and their relentless march can prove quite challenging to deter. Some feeder designs incorporate an in-built ant moat, but they're shallow and dry up quickly, leaving an all-you-can-eat buffet for ants. So then, how do you make a homemade ant moat for a hummingbird feeder? With few items around your house (think sealant, a wire, and a plastic bottle), you can fashion a protective shield that barely dents your time and wallet and works well with many types of hummingbird feeders

But how does an ant moat work? Picture the grand moats around medieval castles, those large bodies of water guarding the premises from non-winged intruders. This age-old idea is utilized on a small scale as a hanging fortress filled with water that effectively stops ants in their relentless tracks, preventing them from reaching the feeding ports on hummingbird feeders. But why not just buy an ant moat for a hummingbird feeder on Amazon? Plenty are available, retailing for about $10. But isn't there a certain joy in crafting something with your hands that is cost-effective and solves an immediate problem, minus the wait for delivery? Plus, you get to experience the gratification of catering to the minuscule necessities of your beloved hummingbirds while gently nudging away the unwelcome guests.

Crafting an ant moat for a hummingbird feeder

Kick off this DIY adventure by gathering the supplies needed for your homemade ant moat: a 1.25-liter plastic pop bottle, a utility knife, a wire cutter, a picture frame wire or a wire hanger, a drill, and a glue gun. Like a skilled surgeon, section off the top of the bottle using a utility knife. You can smoothen the fresh edge by rubbing it onto a hot pan, although it's not mandatory. Then, summoning the inner gladiator, use your wire cutter to snip a straight piece from a picture frame wire or wire hanger. The drama heightens as you summon your drill and make a hole through the center of the bottle cap, ideally matching the wire size. Wiggle the wire through the hole and reattach the cap.

To hold the wire in place, fill the cap's inside with glue using a glue gun. This ensures the wire stays steady and prevents water leaks. Beware that shape distortion is imminent if hot glue spills onto the side of the bottle section. You also want to ensure the wire stands vertically straight up so it won't tilt the feeder. The climax nears as you twist both ends of the wire to form a loop. Finally, in a grand culmination, attach the wire loop to the hook of your hummingbird feeder, then dangle the hummingbird feeder from the ant-moat handle. But then, what liquid do you put in an ant moat for a hummingbird feeder? Look no further than water. 

Precautions for your DIY ant moat

No matter how you spin it, safety goggles won't land you on the cover of Vogue, but they surely can help you dodge some inconvenient ER trips, especially when operating a drill. If a glue gun's missing from your toolkit, a waterproof silicone or a similar sealant is a grade-A alternative for sealing that drill-made hole in your DIY ant moat. Further, swapping a potentially dangerous hot pan for sandpaper when smoothing the edges can save you some unnecessary kitchen melodramas. In addition, you'll want to keep your hummingbird feeder from any ant-accessible surfaces and plants because those tiny climbers are notorious sidesteppers.

Thinking of filling the ant moat with oil instead of water? That's one of the hummingbird feeder errors you want to avoid, as oil can turn your delightful hummingbirds into grounded feather bundles. So, stick with water for your DIY ant moat. Furthermore, keep a vigilant eye on the water level, especially when the mercury's flirting with the higher digits. Evaporation usually doesn't send an RSVP, turning your effective moat into a vacant desert.

Along the same veins, catch those leaks before they cause a similar effect as evaporation. And while juggling these checks, don't forget to inspect your feeder assembly's stability. Why? Because worrying about its sudden collapse in breezy weather should never be on your agenda. As a tastefully minty cherry on top, place potted mint around your hummingbird feeder pole's base. The ants won't only call a truce, but your backyard will also smell refreshingly fabulous.