DIY Hummingbird Feeder Moat

A few weeks ago, I posted about our new hummingbird feeder.  We have had lots of fun watching a few stop by to have a drink at the new watering hole.  It appears we have one that has sorta made the area home as he tends to chase off any other hummingbirds that try to stop by.

Unfortunately, the sugary treat that is intended for the birds, also attracts some less desirable visitors…ANTS.  Within 24 hours of setting up the feeder, the ants were marching up the shepherd’s hook a la Tom and Jerry.

So, I have seen a few solutions to this problem.  You can buy a commercial solution either built-in to the feeder or buy one to put between the feeder and the hanger.  But I was able to go to Lowe’s and get a couple of parts for about $3 and built my own.  (Disclosure: One part cannot be purchased by itself.  See below.)

Turnbuckle, nut, washer, and spray can cap.I purchased a 1/4″ x 7-1/2″ turnbuckle hook, a 1/4″ nut, and a 1/4″ washer.  I already had an old spray can cap.

The first thing to do is to drill a 7/32″ hole in the center of the spray can cap.  By drilling the hole just slightly photo2smaller than the threads on the turnbuckle hook, the assembly makes its own water tight seal.

Be aware that the threads going into the turnbuckle are reverse of each other.  The one you want to remove from the turnbuckle is the one that turns left.

photo3Thread the nut onto the hook you just removed.  Note:  If the nut won’t thread onto the hook, you have removed the wrong hook…try the other one.  Turn the nut until it is near the start of the hook.

photo4Slide the washer on next and then start to thread the cap after the washer.  As you get the cap close to the washer, hold the nut still and gently tighten the cap down to the washer.  Don’t force it as you could break the seal that makes it watertight.

photo5Finally, thread the turnbuckle back onto the hook inside the cap.  Tighten the turnbuckle down to sandwich the washer and the cap against the nut at the bottom.  Again, not too tight.  If necessary, you can add some silicone caulk or use hot glue to seal the bottom of the threads.



photo6The final step is to check your moat by filling with a bit of water to see that there are no leaks.






Photo7_reducedAnd finally, just hang the moat above your feeder and no more ants!