Whereas Vaseline will make the feeder slippery, making it not possible for ants to cross it to get to the meals supply, it might additionally majorly hurt the hummingbirds. “Please don’t use any greases to forestall ants from climbing onto hummingbird feeders!” ornithologist Zach Hutchinson advised Houses & Gardens. “If this grease or oil will get onto the hummingbirds, it may be lethal.” The petroleum jelly may get on their feathers, and when it does, it’s going to throw off their thermoregulation. For instance, hummingbirds go into a sort of hibernation state at night time to preserve vitality, which entails drastically decreasing their physique temperature. They can not do this if slicked with jelly, and so they can find yourself dying. Plus, with out thermoregulation, they’ll additionally overheat or freeze — they are going to not be capable of hold their physique at a steady temperature.
As a substitute, strive hanging the feeder from a tree, far-off from any ant colonies or constructions they might climb. This may be particularly useful in case your feeder was once on a pole, since ants can simply climb these. You can even strive liberally sprinkling cinnamon on the feeder, as it is a pure ant deterrent and is protected for hummingbirds. Simply ensure you do not put it within the meals in order to not contaminate the nectar.