How can I keep insects off my hummingbird feeder?


I have a hummingbird feeder which I fill with sugar water. Lately there have been some small bees or wasps (looks like a fly with skinnier wings, maybe a flying ant) eating the food from the feeder.

Can you tell me what they are and how I can rid of them safely? Wondering if a pesticide would be harmful to hummingbirds?


Marjorie Peronto, Extension Educator

If the insects aren’t “gumming up” your feeder or otherwise doing any harm, you should leave them be. Many insects feed on nectar just like hummingbirds do. By no means should you use a pesticide, as that would definitely harm the hummingbirds. You may want to empty out and wash your feeder more frequently, as that may discourage the insects. Insects are a very important part of the ecosystem, and birds feed on them too.