Ants have an uncanny knack for finding a hummingbird feeder. An ant moat is the solution to keeping the little buggers at bay. You can buy a moat or you can whip one together easily with an empty water bottle, a piece of 1/4" dowel rod and a pipe cleaner.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
1/4" wooden dowel
1 pipe cleaner
glue or sealant of some sort
I used a 15/64" drill bit to drill a hole in the cap. This gives a nice snug fit for the dowel.
I used a 7/64" drill bit to drill a hole in each end of the rod.
Step 2: Assemble It
Cut the top off of the water bottle as shown. Drill the hole in the cap. Push the dowel through the hole and determine how long you want the dowel to be. Mark the dowel at the spot where it meets the cap. Remove the rod from the cap. Cut the dowel and drill a hole in each end. Place the glue/sealant on the mark you made earlier. Push it into the cap and screw the cap onto the bottle. Center the rod in the bottle and set it aside to dry. After your sealant has dried, cut the pipe cleaner in half and attach it to the ends of the rod (you could splurge and use 2 pipe cleaners). Hang it up and fill the moat with water. Now it's ready to defend your feeder.
Step 3: Hangers
Standard wire shower curtain rings are also a useful and inexpensive hanger for birdhouses and feeders.
Step 4: Ant Moat Update
I found that the water bottle caps are not as robust as they once were. Then it dawned on me that the wooden plugs removed from a hole saw bit have a 1/4" hole in them. I decided to use one of these scrap plugs as a foundation for the cap. It seems to work quite well.