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ANT MOAT • Southern Rural Route

At lunch in early May, I mentioned to Cee that I was having problems with my hummingbird feeder that had not been a problem the previous two years. Ants were getting inside and drowning in the sugar water. I did not want to feed ant germs to the hummingbirds.

I was surprised she had a solution because it seemed like a bizarre problem. She said I needed an ant moat (retailers call it an “ant guard”) filled with water that the ants couldn’t get past. Later that night, she went out in the dark to snap a photo of hers which she emailed me along with a link to a video demonstrating how to make one.

Cee’s photo was a prime example of a picture being worth a thousand words. As she described it over lunch, I pictured an empty gallon paint can hanging over the hummingbird feeder. All you need is the lid from a can of spray paint. The yellow plastic lid in the photo, below, is my ant moat:

My hummingbird feeder is made of glass and plastic

The ant moat is an ingenious contraption that I understand can be purchased in stores but it’s easy and quick to make your own. Again, you need a lid from a can of spray paint or hairspray, two cup hooks and a wine cork. Watch this video for instructions:

In the summer when temperatures are above 75 degrees, always remember to clean the feeder and fill with fresh nectar every 2 to 3 days.

UPDATE: One of my readers suggested I check the ruffled top of my hummingbird feeder as she had purchased one that had a built-in ant moat. It looks like mine has a built-in moat, too. I had purchased mine at Big Lots and it had no package labeling with this information.