hummingbird feeders — got ants?

With the hummingbirds starting to migrate, everyone is putting up extra feeders.  With the abundance of fire ants in my area, I like many was having problems with ants getting into the feeders and ruining the sugar water. I priced some of the store bought ant barrier containers and they were very expensive.  I found one at the end of the season at a very deep discount. I came up with a couple of designs for making home made ones very inexpensive.  One design I used a screen door latch which I had on hand after replacing a screen door on the back porch. The other design uses a heavy gauge wire, which I also had on hand for making homemade plant tags.

Other materials needed are a cap off of a spray can, a nail or ice pick or drill bit, a pipe or pipe or broom handle, pliers, and water proof caulking.

Punch a hole in the middle of the cap. In the first design I cut off the smaller eye screw off of the screen latch either with a bolt cutter or hack saw. Take a hammer and bend the latch part down to make a hook. Push the latch end through the bottom of the cap as shown. Caulk around the hole and let dry a day or two. Hang the feeder and put water in the cap. I think it would work better if you could push the latch through from the inside. The flat park would hold up the cap nicely, but I tried my darnedest but couldn’t get it to work out.

The second wire design is similarly made. One advantage is that if you don’t quite get the hole in the center, you can bend the wire after hanging to level the cap.  Punch a hole in the middle of the cap.  Cut a length of wire and file down the sharp edges. Wrap one end around a pipe or broom handle, rod or whatever you have to make a loop. Take the pliers and twist the end of the wire around the length of wire. Push the other end through the cap, make another loop as you did with the end, caulk and let dry and put to use.

With the humidity down a little, the kids have been very active the last few days chasing mice and birds and each other. When you have three, I’m not sure who is chasing whom. It will change from one second to the other. Levi will bark at Blackie until she gets mad and starts chasing him. He’ll bounce in front of her teasing her like he saying “you can’t catch me”. Every once in a while he’ll be slow in making a turn and Blackie will cream him. The he’ll grab Patches by the back leg and start dragging her around the yard until she bites him. Then he’ll run to me to save him. When I shoo the girls off, he’ll go back and start picking on them again.  Blackie kept running around and around a large 10 galloon pot that I use for weeding.  I tilted it over so she could look inside and she drove into the weeds and pulled out a mouse. She missed her calling as a drug dog.  When closing down for the evening Blackie and Patches had to play triple make the garage door go up on the barn. Blackie ran in under one while it was coming down and back out the other door.  When I started the doors back down Patches had to wander in under one. They can be no where in sight and when they hear the doors going down they come running, stand under the door watching them go back up.

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One Response to hummingbird feeders — got ants?

  1. Pingback: Ruby Throated Hummingbird

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