Can Ants Eat Through a Pool Liner?

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Ants eating through a pool's vinyl liner are looking for water; they don't want the vinyl itself.
Ants eating through a pool's vinyl liner are looking for water; they don't want the vinyl itself. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Owners of vinyl-liner swimming pools happily derive many benefits from them that include low maintenance. Vinyl liners in swimming pools can last from 5 to 15 or more years, which is a definite benefit. Unfortunately, a number of issues can harm a swimming pool's vinyl liner, including that ants may try to eat through it. Ants piercing a pool's vinyl liner are doing so because they're in search of water and not a vinyl meal.

Ants and Vinyl

Ants will eat almost anything that provides them with nutrition, but pool vinyl liners can't do that. According to pool expert Alan Schuster, ants will eat through a pool's vinyl liner under certain extreme circumstances, including during drought. Swimming pools create a high-moisture zone around them, and ants will be attracted to them in their search for water. If ants really need water, in other words, a pool's vinyl liner won't stop them from trying to get at it.

Eliminating Ants

If you suspect ants are eating through your pool's vinyl liner, have a professional exterminator check for infestation. If ants really are chewing through your pool's vinyl liner, the areas around and under the pool need to be treated, for starters. After eliminating a pool's ant infestation it's best to cover the ground under and around it with an ant-resistant plastic barrier. You can also have an exterminator periodically apply an ant-killing residual barrier treatment around your swimming pool to keep ants away.

Replacing Liners

If your pool's liner has been severely damaged by large numbers of ants you'll need to discard it and install a new one. Above-ground swimming pool vinyl liners are easier to remove and reinstall than in-ground pool versions. In either case, in order to replace a pool's vinyl liner you must drain the pool. If you want to try patching a pool's vinyl liner there are plenty of easy-to-use underwater pool liner patch kits available.

Considerations

Ants attacking and eating through a swimming pool's vinyl liner is an extremely rare occurrence, according to pool expert Schuster. In many cases where a pool owner thinks ants are attacking her pool's liner the problem is actually a poor quality pool base. A pool's base is the ground beneath a swimming pool. Ensure your vinyl liner swimming pool's base is free of pointy or sharp objects and covered in a smooth material like fine silica sand.

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