Can Ants Eat Through a Pool Liner?


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.


  • 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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