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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:11 pm 
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Help! Fireants have found their way up the tree and down the line holding my humming bird feeder. I've noticed that when there's a bunch of ants on the food openings, the birds will not stay and drink much. How can I prevent the ants from getting down to the feeder? I will try moving it periodically (just few feet away, for example) but wondered about a more permanent solution.

Thanks everyone![/quote]

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:48 pm 
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I have found that ants hate the Cactus Juice spray. I used to have the same problem with ants crawling up to my feeders. I spray or wipe on the cactus juice (on the parts leading up to the feeder only) every few days and that seems to stop them. I will be very interested in what everyone else does for this problem.


Last edited by Rebekah on Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:37 pm 
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The flying saucer looking feeder that I buy at wild birds unlimited is one of the best and has a lifetime warranty for about $15.00. It has a small water moat around the attachment screw that ants can't cross. I've had 5 of them for about 6 years and have had several replaced for free.
You can use any sticky substance on the wire holding your feeder to prevent the ants from crawling down. Try Vaseline.
The nectar should last about 3 days in the shade, move your feeders if necessary to the shade and refill when you get back. Don't forget to scrub your feeders with hot soapy water between changes.
Tony M


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:57 pm 
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Tony and Rebekah:

Thank you for your help. I have tried the vasaline in the past and it worked - for a few days. Maybe I needed to freshen the vasaline more often than I did. I'll also look into those feeders you mentioned Tony. Except, I'm thinking that the wind may toss the water out of the saucer -- unless of course it's a real heavy duty feeder. My feeders twist in the wind a lot as it is. It probably wouldn't hurt to try out a new feeder.

Right now, I'm watching a real busy air show put on by my little friends as 4 or 5 of them are vying for one feeder. A different one - the ants haven't found yet.

Thanks so much, again!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:52 pm 
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The "saucer" is covered, the birds drink from holes in the cover. Don't worry about the wind.

If vasaline doesn't work for you try rolling wide masking tape backwards on the wire. I know they make a sticky substance to smear on fake apples in organic orchards but I can't find it.
Tony


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:26 am 
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Tony M wrote:
The flying saucer looking feeder that I buy at wild birds unlimited is one of the best and has a lifetime warranty for about $15.00. It has a small water moat around the attachment screw that ants can't cross.

I concur that these are great feeders. They are also so much easier to clean than many of the feeders I've had in the past.

I think they are also the right size. (Come in big and small.) Unless you have hundreds of humming birds, I'm inclined to think it's better to have a bunch of small ones than one large one. Otherwise, they waste all their energy fighting. ;-)

While I was at the store in Lewisville, they said that one of the small ones with the red lid left off is also a handy place to put the little worms that wrens love so much. The water moat will keep the ants away from attacking the worms. Haven't tried this myself, but tempted as I sure do want to keep this wren family around. They sure like to go after bugs.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:33 am 
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If the support bare wire/string gets hot enough from sun exposure, the vaseline probably can liquify enough to run. If the support is bare wire, one idea might be to contact the wire with a heat sink to prevent the wire from heating. A person should be able to raise the petroleum jelly's melting point by increasing the wax content. An easy way to do this is to melt a smaller amount of bees wax and a larger amount of petroleum or vegelatum together, with mixing. If the feeder hangs on a smooth wire, it might help to wrap string around the wire to help hold the vaseline and then smear the vaseline on the string. To expand on Tony's masking tape suggestion, one also can use Tanglefoot or a sticky product such as the barrier glue mentioned at this Web site:

http://www.greengardener.co.uk/traps.htm

It shouldn't be very hard to make a sticky vegetable gum-based non-drying biodegradable glue to mimic those products. If I find a recipe, I'll post it.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 4:57 pm 
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Thats was I was thinking of, TANGLEFOOT! Thanks Enzyme.
Tony


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