Updated at: 16-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Ant moats can be filled with anything it takes to deter ants, so long as it isn’t harmful to hummingbirds or any other species that could accidentally wander into the area.

The only thing you need to put in an ant moat is water, and you should fill it as high as it will go or as directed. Water in an ant moat is less likely to evaporate if it is poured from above. An improvement would be to use nectar or sticky Vaseline to entice the ants into the water.

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Fill the ant moat on a hummingbird feeder up to the maximum level, or otherwise according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Filling an ant moat to its maximum capacity will save you time because water evaporates rapidly in hot and humid weather if the moat is only partially filled.

If you want to keep the ants away from your hummingbird feeder, build an ant moat around it. The ants can get onto the body of the hummingbird feeder and bother the birds when they try to feed if the moat isn’t filled with water.

The greatest ant moats for hummingbird feeders, in my opinion, are the deep ones, because that allows for the most amount of water to be used.

After following the manufacturer’s water usage guidelines, you can move on to experimenting with various ant control strategies.

One of these is filling the ant moat with nectar instead of water so that the ants will stay in the ant moat rather than trying to get to the hummingbird feeder below.

There needs to be just the right amount of nectar supplied in case hummingbirds and other birds decide to drink from the sugary water in the ant moat.

To further ensure that ants are trapped in your simple ant moat, you can add a dab of Vaseline to its depths or spread it around the inner moat’s entirety. Greater is the thickness of the Vaseline coating, the less likely it is that the ants will be able to cross it.

When ants enter an ant moat, they always seem to land in the exact center. You must guarantee that they cannot swim to the outside and then descend the ladder to the feeder.

Fill with water only

For the purpose of filling an ant moat, regular tap water will do. Hummingbird feeders often include water around the outside to deter ants from swimming out to it.

Filling the ant moat to the water line or the manufacturer’s recommended level is preferable, but it won’t make much of a difference either way.

Generally speaking, shallow water is fine, but you know what happens when the weather is hot and muggy, right? It’s common sense that water will degrade rapidly in the summer or in warmer states, therefore filling the container to the brim is the only way to ensure that it will survive.

In any case, it is not a problem because the ant moat can be kept from drying out by constantly adding water to it.

Hummingbird feeders and ant moats can be set up in shady areas without constant monitoring, giving you a break from the task.

With that, the water level in the ant moat will remain the same during the winter or colder months, with the possible exception of the ant moat freezing over.

Ants are less of a problem in cold weather since they are less active, but you should still make sure to refill the ant moat with fresh water before it freezes solid.

Coerce ants into sugar water

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Ant moats can be used to prevent ants from reaching the nectar in a hummingbird feeder by filling them with tap water and leaving them in place.

Indeed, ants can reach the hummingbird feeder through means you cannot control. The difficulty is either the wind or the ants dropping onto the feeder, both of which are much beyond the ants’ abilities to cross an ant moat.

Unintentionally, ants can fall from a nearby tree branch or bracket and settle on the hummingbird feeder, where they will forage for nectar in the port wells.

Since they are so light, ants can be blown onto the body of a hummingbird feeder.

To take additional preventative steps, you might create an ant moat filled with nectar for the ants to cross.

When the ants realize there is no more of their homemade nectar to be had, they will begin to climb down, up, and around to get within this ant moat.

To solve the ant problem near the hummingbird feeder, create an ant moat with sugar water where the ants will drown.

Use as much sugar water as you wish to lure additional ants into the moat, but keep in mind that hummingbirds and other birds may perch to feed out of this open top ant moat, and they could become sick or even die if they consume too much of the sugary water.

Vaseline is an option

If you want to be sure that no ants are getting into the nectar, then you should get everything set up so that you may use just tap water for the time being.

Sure, sugar water can lure ants to the ant moat, but there’s another tool at your disposal for stopping them in their tracks.

Vaseline in the ant moat, which can be seen to keep ants off the hummingbird feeder, is preferable to simple water or handmade nectar since ants will get trapped crossing it.

I won’t lie and suggest that using Vaseline is the most cost-effective solution, but it certainly has its uses.

These ants will definitely become mired in this thick, sticky cream. Second, the Vaseline can be seen to remain longer than a shallow ant moat since the water evaporates more slowly.

Perfect, because you won’t have to keep checking on the hummingbird feeder as often if you use Vaseline.

Now, this is not a guarantee for everybody, but if the plain water or sugary water alternative fails you – then go with Vaseline or comparable, though cheaper products.

Maintain ant moat

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Most likely, the ants are crowding your hummingbird feeder because they can smell the nectar on its surface.

Ants will not be attracted to a hummingbird feeder if it is cleaned regularly. Which is helpful information for those thinking about or already using an ant moat to suspend a hummingbird feeder.

Ant moats, in turn, can grow fairly filthy, therefore you should clean your ant moat whenever you clean the body and sections of your hummingbird feeder.

Keep the ant moat in good working order by draining out any stagnant water and removing any ants that may have become trapped.

You should clean this up as regularly as possible if you are using homemade nectar, as the sugary water may find its way to the surface.

Cleaning out the oily Vaseline and washing the ant moat with soapy water can maintain everything neat and tidy while you continue to use Vaseline.

Even if you buy the most expensive hummingbird feeder on the market, you still may need to clean it often to prevent mold and stains from forming, as well as remove any ants that may have become lodged in the feeder’s design.


Use just normal tap water in an ant moat that suspends above or surrounds a disc-shaped hummingbird feeder.

For the vast majority of you, nothing extra is required; but, those of you who continue to have ant problems with your hummingbird feeder may choose to take additional precautions.

In their efforts to reach the ground below, ants may fall or be blasted onto a hummingbird feeder. Then, wham… ants will gain accidental access to the honey with the help of a breeze or a slip on some slick ground.

To start, let’s fill the ant moat in the hummingbird feeder with water.

Filling the ant moat with the things ants want will ensure that they will come there.

If you want to lure ants into your trap, fill the ant moat with homemade nectar, but be sure to use the right proportions in case hummingbirds or other birds want to drink from it, too.

If you can get ants to enter your trap with the promise of sugary water, they won’t want to leave.

In a similar vein, you can use Vaseline in place of water to create a thick, oily goo that the ants can’t escape from. In contrast to water, which can evaporate quickly in the summer, a small investment in Vaseline can last quite a while if stored in the shade.

In the interim, make sure the hummingbird feeder and, by extension, the ant moat, are spotless. This will discourage ants from visiting the feeder in the first place.

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