Ants on Nectar Stand
Ants are always invading my butterfly nectar stand. What should I do to keep them away?
—Erika Perkins, Herndon, Virginia
Tom: Ants are very good at finding sources of food! Whether your feeder is on a post or suspended, ants are difficult to manage. I'll tell you what I did with my feeder in West Virginia. Since ants won't cross water to reach the feeder, I ran a long copper wire through a 2-inch (or larger) copper pipe end cap through which I drilled a small hole. Then I soldered the wire in place so it wouldn't leak. At one end of the wire I fashioned a hook to hang from my stand, and at the other end, below the cap, I hung my feeder. In the cup, I kept water with a couple drops of detergent in it to break the surface tension. No more trouble with ants. You also can try ant repellents on your stand, but I've found that within a short period, the ants will cross to the feeder anyway.