The sight of hummingbirds fluttering around your garden is a delightful scene for nature lovers. However, if you’ve noticed earwigs around your hummingbird feeders, you know they can pose a problem. These pests are attracted to the sweet nectar in the feeders, and their presence can deter hummingbirds from visiting.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods to keep earwigs away from your hummingbird feeders. The methods discussed here are safe, effective and won’t harm the hummingbirds.
To keep earwigs away from hummingbird feeders, ensure proper feeder placement away from structures or vegetation, use an ant moat, apply petroleum jelly or vegetable oil on the feeder pole, maintain regular feeder cleaning, use natural insect repellents like peppermint oil or diatomaceous earth, and attract birds that are natural predators of earwigs. If earwigs persist, consider seeking professional help.
Why are Earwigs Attracted to Hummingbird Feeders?
Earwigs are drawn to hummingbird feeders due to the sweet nectar inside. This sugary liquid serves as a food source for them, which unfortunately can deter hummingbirds from visiting the feeders. They can also crawl into the feeder and contaminate the nectar, making it less appealing to the birds.
How to Deter Earwigs from Hummingbird Feeders
There are several ways to deter earwigs from your hummingbird feeders. Here are some effective methods:
Proper Feeder Placement
Position the feeder at least five feet away from any structure or vegetation, such as trees or shrubs. This will prevent earwigs from easily accessing it.
Use an Ant Moat
An ant moat is a small water-filled container that hangs above the feeder. It prevents crawling insects like earwigs from reaching the feeder.
Apply Petroleum Jelly or Vegetable Oil
Coat the hanging wire or feeder pole with petroleum jelly or vegetable oil. This creates a slippery barrier that earwigs cannot climb.
Regular Feeder Maintenance
Clean the feeder regularly to remove any earwigs and prevent them from returning.
Natural Insect Repellents
Sprinkle or spray peppermint essential oil or diatomaceous earth around the feeder to deter earwigs.
Birds are natural predators of earwigs. Installing bird feeders, bird baths, or birdhouses near the hummingbird feeder can help control the earwig population.
By combining these preventative measures and natural solutions, you can effectively keep earwigs away from your hummingbird feeders and maintain a pleasant environment for the hummingbirds to visit.
Monitoring Earwig Deterrent Effectiveness
You can monitor the effectiveness of your methods by regular inspections, setting up traps, and observing plant damage. If you notice a decrease in earwig population and plant damage, it indicates that your measures are working effectively.
When to Seek Professional Help
If all else fails and earwigs continue to be a problem, you may need to consider more aggressive methods or seek professional help. A professional exterminator can evaluate the situation and determine the best solution.
Hummingbirds are a delightful addition to any garden, and with these preventative measures, you can ensure that they have a safe and earwig-free environment to visit. Happy bird watching!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an ant moat and where can I find one?
An ant moat is a small device that is hung above a hummingbird feeder. It is filled with water to create a barrier that crawling insects like earwigs can’t cross. You can find ant moats at most garden supply stores or online.
How often should I clean my hummingbird feeder?
It’s recommended to clean your hummingbird feeder at least once a week. However, if you notice earwigs or other insects on the feeder, you may need to clean it more frequently.
Can earwigs harm hummingbirds directly?
Earwigs are generally not a direct threat to hummingbirds. However, their presence can deter hummingbirds from visiting the feeder and they can contaminate the nectar.
How does peppermint oil deter earwigs?
Peppermint oil is a natural insect repellent. The strong scent is unpleasant to earwigs and other insects, discouraging them from approaching areas where the oil has been applied.
Can I use any kind of oil to create a slippery barrier on the feeder pole?
Yes, most kinds of oil should work to create a slippery barrier that earwigs can’t climb. However, vegetable oil and petroleum jelly are often recommended because they are safe for birds and won’t harm them if they come into contact with it.