How to Make a Moat for Hummingbird Feeders

How to Make a Moat for Hummingbird Feeders
The same sugary nectar that attracts hummingbirds to your feeder also is an invitation for ants. These unwelcome guests work their way into the nectar reservoir, where they die. Their decomposing bodies compromise the quality of the nectar. Ants may drive hummingbirds away from a feeder if the problem is left unchecked. You can deter ants with a moat, which is a small cup that holds water. When placed on the feeder's hanger, the ants can't cross it to get to the nectar. Commercial versions are available, but you can easily make your own from recycled items.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bottle cap Drill or sharp nail 12-inch length of fishing line or wire Ball point pen Hot glue gun
  • Bottle cap
  • Drill or sharp nail
  • 12-inch length of fishing line or wire
  • Ball point pen
  • Hot glue gun
 
Step 1
Poke a small hole in the center of a plastic bottle cap with a drill or sharp nail. Substitute any size cap that is at least 1/2-inch deep and 1 to 3 inches in diameter.
Step 2
Cut a 12-inch length of wire or fishing line. Tie one end to the hanger on your hummingbird feeder.
Step 3
Remove the bottom and top from a ball point pen, then slide the ink tube out. You are left with the casing, which is now a hollow tube.
Step 4
Slide the pen casing onto the fishing line. Slide the cap onto the line above the pen casing, open side up.
Step 5
Fill the hole in the cap around the fishing line with hot glue to make it watertight. Allow the glue to dry completely.
Step 6
Hang the feeder by tying the other end of the fishing line or wire around its normal hook. Fill the cap with water. Ants won't be able to cross the water to get to the feeder below.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Place a dab of glue on the knots in the fishing line to help secure them.
 
Place a dab of glue on the knots in the fishing line to help secure them.
 
Never place oily or sticky substances in the moat, as these may get on the hummingbirds and impede their flight.
 
Never place oily or sticky substances in the moat, as these may get on the hummingbirds and impede their flight.

Article Written By Jenny Harrington

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

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