How to Keep Wasps Away From Hummingbird Feeders: Effective Strategies and Tips

How to Keep Wasps Away From Hummingbird Feeders?

To keep wasps away from hummingbird feeders, there are several tips you can follow.

First, you can capture the wasps using a trap specifically designed for them.

Second, limit attractants that may draw them to the feeders, such as avoiding spills or leaks of nectar.

Third, temporarily relocate the feeders to a different area to confuse the wasps.

Additionally, keeping the feeders clean and free of leaks can make them less appealing to wasps.

While bees are important pollinators, if you are also trying to deter them from the feeders, you can watch for leaks, use feeders with built-in bee guards, or reduce the sugar ratio in the nectar.

To keep ants away, use feeders with built-in ant moats or create an artificial one using a spray paint can lid and two wall hooks.

Finally, be cautious with substances like petroleum jelly or tape, as they can harm hummingbirds.

Key Points:

  • Use a trap designed for wasps to capture them near the hummingbird feeder
  • Avoid spills or leaks of nectar to limit attractants for wasps
  • Temporarily move the feeders to confuse the wasps
  • Keep the feeders clean and leak-free to make them less appealing to wasps
  • Consider using feeders with built-in bee guards or reducing the sugar ratio in the nectar to deter bees
  • Use feeders with built-in ant moats or create an artificial one to keep ants away


Did You Know?

1. The color of the hummingbird feeder affects wasp activity. Wasps are more attracted to bright, vibrant colors like yellow and orange, so using a feeder in shades of red or pink can help deter them.

2. Rubbing dryer sheets on your hummingbird feeder can repel wasps. The scent of the dryer sheet confuses and repels the wasps, making it less likely for them to bother the feeder and its sweet nectar.

3. Placing a mint plant near your hummingbird feeder can discourage wasps from approaching. Wasps dislike the aroma of mint, so strategically positioning mint plants around your feeding area can help keep them at bay.

4. Peppermint essential oil is a natural wasp deterrent. Applying a few drops of peppermint oil to your hummingbird feeder or the surrounding area can create a barrier that deters wasps from approaching the nectar.

5. Wasps are more active during the day, so consider taking down your hummingbird feeder during the late afternoon and evening when they are most active. By removing the temptation, you can reduce the chances of attracting wasps to your feeder.

Competition Between Hummingbirds And Insects

Hummingbirds and insects both rely on nectar-rich flowers and hummingbird feeders for their food. However, this often leads to competition between the two for these resources. Hummingbirds are known for their agility, speed, and ability to hover while feeding. On the other hand, insects like wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can be a nuisance for both hummingbirds and humans. They can be aggressive towards the hummingbirds and even towards people who are trying to appreciate these tiny birds in their backyard.

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Nuisance And Aggression: Wasps, Hornets, And Yellow Jackets

Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are a common problem when it comes to disrupting the peaceful feeding of hummingbirds at their feeders. These insects are attracted to the sweet nectar and will compete with hummingbirds for this precious resource. However, the issue goes beyond mere nuisance. These insects can also be a threat to the safety of both hummingbirds and humans. When protecting their food source, they can become aggressive and potentially harm hummingbirds, as well as sting humans. Therefore, it is essential to take necessary measures to keep these pests away from hummingbird feeders.

  • Ways to keep wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets away from hummingbird feeders:
  • Hang feeders in open areas away from trees or structures where insects may nest.
  • Avoid using bright-colored feeders or decorations that can attract insects.
  • Clean the feeders regularly to remove any spilled nectar or residue that may attract insects.
  • Consider using wasp traps or other insect deterrents around the hummingbird feeder area.
  • Plant flowers and plants that naturally repel insects, such as marigolds or mint, near the feeders.

Remember to be cautious when dealing with these pests and seek professional help if an infestation becomes unmanageable.

Tips To Keep Wasps Away From Hummingbird Feeders

To prevent wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets from becoming a nuisance at hummingbird feeders, there are several effective strategies and tips to consider:

  • Use a wasp trap to capture and remove them. These traps can be easily found in stores or made at home using sweet bait to attract the wasps and keep them away from the hummingbird feeders.

  • Limit the attractants around your yard. Clean up any fallen fruits or spills of sugary substances that may attract insects.

  • Temporarily relocate the hummingbird feeders to a different area in your yard, away from the wasp-infested zone, to confuse and deter them.

  • Clean the feeders regularly to prevent attracting wasps. Ensure that the feeders are free from any leaks or spills, as even the smallest amount of nectar can serve as a powerful attractant. By keeping the feeders clean and limiting any potential leaks, you reduce the chances of wasps being drawn to them.

  • Consider using a blockquote to provide emphasis and highlight important information:

“Cleaning the feeders regularly is crucial to prevent attracting wasps. Ensure that the feeders are free from any leaks or spills, as even the smallest amount of nectar can serve as a powerful attractant.”

The Importance Of Bees And The Honey Bee Decline

While wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets may be bothersome, it is crucial to acknowledge the importance of bees, particularly honey bees, in our ecosystem. Bees play a vital role as pollinators, benefiting the growth and reproduction of flowering plants, trees, and agricultural crops. Unfortunately, honey bee populations have been declining drastically in recent years, raising concerns among scientists about their long-term survival and the potential repercussions on the ecosystem.

The Less Aggressive Nature Of Bees

When comparing the aggression levels of different insects, it is worth noting that bees, including honey bees, are generally less aggressive than wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets. Bees primarily focus on collecting nectar and pollen from flowers, rather than posing a threat to humans or hummingbirds. Considering this, it is more advisable to deter bees rather than resorting to their destruction.

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Here are a few points to summarize:

  • Bees, including honey bees, are less aggressive compared to wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets.
  • Bees primarily collect nectar and pollen from flowers.
  • Bees do not typically pose a threat to humans or hummingbirds.

“It is best to deter bees rather than resorting to their destruction.”

Suggestions For Keeping Bees, Ants, And Praying Mantises Away From Hummingbird Feeders

  1. Keeping Bees Away:
  2. Watch for leaks in the feeder and seal them to minimize attracting bees.
  3. Consider using a Top-Fill Hummingbird Feeder with leak-proof gaskets and natural bee guards.
  4. Use feeders with Bee Guards, special attachments designed to keep bees away while allowing hummingbirds to access the nectar.
  5. Remove feeders for a few days and then relocate them to confuse bees and disrupt their feeding patterns.
  6. Reduce the sugar ratio in hummingbird nectar to make it less attractive to bees.

  7. Keeping Ants Away:

  8. Use hummingbird feeders with built-in ant moats. Ant moats create a ring of water around the feeder’s hanging hook, preventing ants from accessing the nectar.
  9. If a feeder doesn’t have a built-in ant moat, it can be created using a spray paint can lid, a cork, and two standard wall hooks.

  10. Dealing with Praying Mantises:

  11. While rare, there have been documented instances of praying mantises attacking hummingbirds at feeders. Experts advise against killing praying mantises but instead suggest relocating them away from the hummingbird feeder.

It is crucial to note that substances like petroleum jelly, hand creams, oil, grease, tape, and adhesive bug traps should not be used on hummingbird feeders, hanging wires, or mounting poles. These substances can be absorbed into the delicate feathers of hummingbirds, making it difficult for them to fly or causing harm to their health. Similarly, spraying a hummingbird feeder with insecticide is not recommended, as it could mix with the nectar and harm the health of hummingbirds. Creating bait feeders for insects is also discouraged, as it can lead to the development of stronger and more demanding insect colonies.

To divert bees from feeders, planting a pollinator garden with native flowers can provide an alternative food source. Avoiding the use of pesticides in the garden is crucial since they can harm both bees and hummingbirds. Choosing saucer-shaped feeders can also make it more difficult for bees to access the nectar, as they have not yet figured out how to use straws like hummingbirds.

While moving the feeder to different locations each week can confuse bees, it does not affect hummingbirds’ ability to locate the feeder. Finally, it is of utmost importance to prioritize the well-being of birds and insects by avoiding the use of harmful substances and adopting eco-friendly strategies to deter unwanted visitors from hummingbird feeders.

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In conclusion, by following these effective strategies and tips, you can successfully keep wasps, bees, ants, and even praying mantises away from hummingbird feeders. This ensures the safety and enjoyment of both hummingbirds and humans, allowing you to appreciate the beauty and grace of these fascinating birds without any unwanted disruptions.

  • Avoid harmful substances on hummingbird feeders
  • Plant a pollinator garden for alternative food source
  • Choose saucer-shaped feeders to deter bees
  • Avoid using pesticides
  • Relocate praying mantises instead of killing them
  • Regularly move the feeder to confuse bees

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get rid of wasps around a hummingbird feeder?

To effectively get rid of wasps around a hummingbird feeder, it is advisable to use a two-pronged approach. Firstly, setting up a wasp trap will divert their attention away from the feeder, capturing them and minimizing their presence. Additionally, it is crucial to keep the surroundings clean and limit attractants for wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets. By relocating the feeder and eliminating opportunities for these insects to access food sources, you can create a safer environment for hummingbirds to enjoy their nectar undisturbed.

What can I put around my hummingbird feeder to keep the bees away?

One effective way to keep bees away from your hummingbird feeder is to create a physical barrier using mesh or netting. By placing a fine mesh around the feeder, you can prevent bees from accessing the nectar while still allowing hummingbirds to feed through the small openings in the mesh. This not only ensures that the bees are deterred but also provides additional protection for the hummingbirds as they can easily navigate the mesh.

Alternatively, you can try using natural bee repellents to keep them away. Certain scents, such as peppermint or lemongrass, are known to deter bees. Consider placing a few drops of essential oil with these scents on a cotton pad near the feeder. However, it is crucial to remember that these methods should not harm the bees or hummingbirds, as they are both valuable pollinators.

What pushes wasps away?

Wasps can be deterred by the scent of specific plants and household items. They have a disdain for peppermint, spearmint, basil, eucalyptus, cloves, geranium, thyme, citronella, bay leaves, and lemongrass. Additionally, vinegar, cinnamon, coffee grounds, and sliced cucumber are known to repel these insects. By utilizing these scents, one can effectively keep wasps at bay.

Why do wasps hang around my hummingbird feeder?

Wasps may be attracted to your hummingbird feeder because they are also drawn to sugary substances. While nectar flowers are the primary source of food for bees and hummingbirds, wasps have a similar preference for sweet liquids. Therefore, the sugary concoction in your hummingbird feeder may be enticing to the wasps, just like it is to the bees. This could explain why you see wasps hanging around your feeder, as they are simply seeking out an easily accessible source of food.

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