Ants can cause contamination in feeders filled with nectar for birds by getting inside the bird feeder, usually present a few inches higher from the ground.
Can Ants Walk on Fishing Line? Ants cannot walk on fishing line because it has a slippery texture and is thin in size, which does not support their feet. It can be used to deter ants from reaching a bird feeder by hanging the feeder in the air.
It is better to use a fishing line for keeping insects away from hummingbird feeders because these creatures have tiny feet that cannot climb slippery surfaces.
Why can ants not walk on fishing lines?
Ants have sticky feet due to the presence of pretarsal adhesion pads and hair, allowing them to maintain a stable position on smooth surfaces.
They can climb rough surfaces, such as tree trunks, glass tanks, plastic bowls, and even vertical walls, when moving to reach the upper floors of a house.
However, it becomes difficult for these tiny creatures to maintain balance on slippery surfaces, like a fishing line having a smooth surface.
The slime fishing line is chemically treated and coated with a smooth material, making it super slippery and having high knot strength with a slower fading of color.
Its slippery texture does not allow these insects to walk on and creates difficulty in reaching higher on the top when these insects detect a hanging food source in the air.
Moreover, its size is so thin that it seems perfect for fishing and stopping insects from climbing because their tiny feet need some support for a balanced walk.
Its size starts from 0.1mm and reaches around 3mm depending on the weight limit, but its average size is 3 to 5 mm.
Accordingly, they cannot climb a fishing line due to its smaller diameter and fall back to the ground if they attempt to do so.
Furthermore, their edges become sharp over time due to rusting posing a risk of cuts on their tiny bodies when they try to walk on them. So it can keep ants away from their favorite food source.
What happens when ants reach a fishing line?
It is challenging for ants to walk on a slippery surface of the fishing line because their tiny feet cannot support climbing even if they have adhesion pads.
However, it does not mean these insects accept failure without trying to walk on it. They have the courage to make an effort even if there is less possibility of success.
Accordingly, these insects try to climb higher, mainly when their motivation is the food source hanging in the air.
Most probably, they do not get success and fall after walking only a few millimeter distances due to their bigger body size in comparison to the smaller diameter of the fishing line.
Smaller insects with 1 to 2mm body length can reach higher and reach the food source, but it rarely happens due to its thin size and slippery texture.
Can a fishing line keep ants out of the bird feeder?
A fishing line can be used to deter ants from bird feeders by hanging the feeder at a distance from the ground. It helps keep nuisance pests away from food as these insects can contaminate food.
Bird feeder contains seeds, fruits, and other grains that are also desirable for ants and draws them inside to eat the nutritious food. Therefore, keeping a bird feeder away from their access is better.
You can hang a hummingbird feeder to a tree branch using a fishing line, as these tiny insects can easily climb a tree trunk, but their efforts get wasted when they reach a fishing line.
Moreover, some people hang the feeder with a metallic pole providing a suitable surface for these tiny insects to climb and crawl upward, but the feeders are usually hung with a fishing line.
It can work well if the water moats are not working to keep these insects away from a feeder because these insects can float on water and get closer to the feeders.
In addition, it is an excellent alternative to coating the poles with a slippery material or a lubricant, as it can help prevent insects without posing any safety issues for birds.
How do you choose a fishing line to deter ants?
Choosing a suitable fishing line is essential when you plan to hang a bird feeder with a tree trunk.
You have to consider its length according to the height of tree branches and the rod because the bird feeder has to be at an appropriate height from the ground.
A small pole height from the ground cannot help deter ants because they can climb a small distance. Ideally, the distance needs to be around 5 to 6 feet for better control.
It means you can use a fishing line of almost 0.7 to 1.5 feet to hang the feeder from a pole to keep it at a height of at least 4 to 5 feet, which is enough to avoid insects.
In addition, its strength needs to be also considered, as it has to deal with the weight of the hummingbird feeder.
Its strength is measured in pounds and needs to be around at least 4 pounds, which can hold the weight of the feeder and food material inside it.
The monofilament fishing line is considered suitable for use due to cost-effectiveness, shock and abrasion resistance, and availability of various colors and strengths.
Can you use petroleum jelly on fishing lines to deter ants?
Ants have different body sizes and masses, so the force of gravity also varies on their bodies. The larger insects, like big-headed ants, cannot walk on a fishing line due to their thin size.
However, some tiny insects like pharaohs or ghost ants can make their way through it and manage to climb over it slowly.
A thin coat of petroleum jelly on the fishing line can help prevent these tiny insects and make them fall on the floor due to the extra smooth surface.
Moreover, it can act as a good barrier for these insects and keep them on the ground for a long until the surface remains sticky or slippery.
So, it is better to use non-toxic petroleum jelly instead of toxic insecticides to deter all types of ants, as harmful chemicals can pose more harm to insects and even birds.