Making your own hummingbird food is easy to do and costs a lot less than store bought mixtures. To make your own hummingbird food, start by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the hot burner. Add 1 cup of regular white sugar or cane sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Let the solution cool before filling the feeders.
Be sure when making the food that you don’t make too much because after it sits for a while it will grow mold, even if refrigerated. Also, every time you add more sugar water to your feeder be sure to clean it thoroughly. This will ensure that it is free of any mold that may be forming in the feeder. You can clean your feeders with hot, soapy water, and then a solution of vinegar and hot water to kill off any mold or bacteria growing in the feeder.
Never add food coloring to your hummingbird food as it is now known that this decreases the hummingbird’s lifespan. If you would like to add a touch of color to your feeder try wrapping some red cellophane around the water vial on the feeder so you get the red color and don’t harm the hummingbirds. This will allow you to still see how full the feeder is and help to attract your hummingbirds.
Get your feeders out early. Some hummingbirds will migrate back from Mexico, where they stay over the winter, to the United States by late March or early April. This is when the hummingbirds need the feeders most since most flowers are not yet in bloom.
If you encounter an ant problem at your feeder, and most likely you will, there are a few ways to handle them. You can try a Hummingbird Feeder Ant Guard. You can also try a Hummingbird Feeder with an Internal Ant Moat. A feeder with a built-in ant moat has a spot on top that you fill with water so the ants can’t get from the top of the feeder down to the nectar nozzles. This should help keep your hummingbirds and you happy without having to deal with ants