Despite the fact nectar guards are typically very effective against bugs, you need to realize that it is virtually impossible to completely prevent all kinds of bugs from getting inside the nectar. But you can certainly force them to dine elsewhere by using a variety of safe methods.
Before we deep dive into some of our top picks for the best nectar guards for hummingbirds, It is important to note that you need to push the guard tips as far down as possible for a snug fit. Some times (but not always!), it is hard for your perky flitters to sip the nectar through them.
3 Best Nectar Guards for Hummingbird Feeders
- Very soft and permeable
- Keep the bees out
- Opens up and closes tightly
- Slightly difficult to put on
Learn More: Best Glass Hummingbird Feeders with Perch
- Mimic real flowers
- Soft and squishy
- Prevent bees from bothering feeding hummers
Learn More: Best Handheld Hummingbird Feeders
- Soft and squishy
- Easily fit to most feeders
- Allows for easy thorough cleaning
- Little high priced
Hummingbirds aren’t the only one that gets attracted to the sweet syrup, there are some other not-so-welcome visitors too like bees, wasps, hornets, and insects. These unlikely guests can be a great nuisance for your little feathered friends, and for you as well. Besides, too many insects can contaminate the nectar, which is harmful for hummingbirds.
So in order to parry these pesky bees, some birders lose patience and may seek out to use pesticide chemicals instead. But these methods are very devastating for the declining population of bees and ants. After all, they are also part of a natural ecosystem. Remember, bees are one of the most effective pollinators of flowers, and more flowers mean more nectar-feeding spots for birds. Likewise, insects also form as the most important food source for most birds.
For that reason, in order to ward off these surprise guests from your hummingbird feeder, let’s try out some of the all-natural and effective, yet safe methods. If your hummingbirds and wasps say thanks to you, you’re WELCOME!
The red tint of saucer feeder probably appeals to hummingbirds more than to bees and wasps, who seem to be more inclined toward yellow color. Therefore, try not to have feeders with yellow accents. But if you already have one, you can repaint it with non-toxic red color. Plus, since hummingbirds have pretty long tongue, they can easily retrieve the sweet liquid from saucer-style feeders. But not so easy for crawling insects, because the sugary water is not close to the feeding ports, which means ants can’t get to it.
One of the most effective deterrents of crawling insects is to use an ant moat (or bee guard). Most hummingbird feeders typically come with a built-in ant moat to keep crawling insects at bay. However, there are some feeders without it. So if you have a feeder without ant moat, simply attach a moat above the feeder and fill it with water. Ants can’t swim so there is no way they can get inside with moats in place. Always remember to clean the moats regularly and refill them.
Like other birds, hummers can be quite messy while feeding. Oftentimes, the sweet nectar drips out of their bills. As a result, the sugary water falls onto the feeder and turns into a free meal for both bees and insects. Not only this, when some feeders are too full, they may spill out their contents on heating up too. Thus, always carefully clean the outside parts of the feeder when refilling.
Are you really frustrated with a lot of sweet-loving insects bothering your hummingbirds? Let’s try hanging the feeder with a fishing line because it is so thin that most insects may not be able to climb at all. If they won’t be able to climb, they can’t have access to the sweet meal. Alternatively, you may also try to hang it from a gutter and see if it helps.
If you relocate your feeder by just a few feet, it is less likely for insects to come again. But don’t worry! hummingbirds can still locate the food source. The reason being, hummingbirds probably look around for other food sources on frequent visits and they will have no trouble in finding this feeder nearby.
Learn More: Where To Hang Hummingbird Feeders
Most bees and wasps like to feed in sunlight which is why they are often attracted to nectar present in sunny spots. If you hang your feeder away from sunlight, it will probably become less appealing to these flying intruders. Besides, if you keep your sugary liquid cooler, it also results in the slow growth of bacteria and mold inside.
Typically, wasps don’t really go into places where other wasps are already present. Therefore, if you place fake wasp nests close to your feeder, it may alert intruders that this area is already occupied.
Finally, if you don’t want four-legged interlopers to go away, you can have a diversion feeder for them where they can dine separately. What you can do is prepare a sugary solution in a yellow flower accent and place it in a sunny spot, and you’re good to go.