Our tent was featured as ants free thanks to protective grids.

However ants just ate holes in the wall material. Some research shows this is not unusual.

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Which tent wall material do I need to prevent ants from eating it?

This happened near Gorge du Verdon in South France.

  • 4
    I’ve never had ants eat a hole in one of my tents. Interesting.
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 25, 2018 at 11:17
  • 1
    Do you perhaps have more information on the type of ant, or tent material? I'm not really seeing anything useful in that picture.
    – user8348
    Jul 25, 2018 at 16:07
  • 2
    Those are savage! No ants do this in Québec. Or anywhere else I've camped in North America. What I know though is that the ants around here don't go to such effort if they haven't located a food source. Did this happen as soon as you set the tent up or after a few days? If the latter, do you keep food or aromatic stuff in the tent?
    – Gabriel
    Jul 25, 2018 at 19:48

4 Answers 4


I have never had this problem. I never even worried about this problem -- and I worry about everything.

If you google What kind of ants eat through tents, you will find that other people have had your problem, for example in Texas and Africa. There are also many hits about ants who just saunter in, rather than chewing their way in, and tips to get rid of them.

The response that sounds most practical is from Michelle Calderon, posting on the website of World Race; she used duct tape to deal with ants in Africa -- Zambia, I think. (As someone once said, if you can't solve your problem with duct tape, you aren't using enough duct tape.)

Briefly, she and her friends used duct tape to remove the ants from their tent and their ant infested belongings, and then they duct-taped the inside and the outside of the holes.

So the way the ants get in is they chew holes through your tent. I had eight new holes in my tent courtesy of the ants. I duct taped both the inside and outside of the tent to repair the holes.

She describes her technique in detail, with pictures.

This suggests that getting a tent made of double sided duct tape may work, but, mon dieu!

  • 1
    Hi ab2! The question is about which tent material can prevent ants from chewing into it. The link you’ve provided talks about remedies once there’s an ant infestation. Jul 26, 2018 at 3:46
  • @Ricketyship Notice the last sentence, which starts with "This suggests that getting a tent made of double sided duct tape may work..."
    – Loduwijk
    Sep 14, 2018 at 17:09

I'm in South-west Florida and it's pretty common here. I hiked the Florida trail in the summer of 2023 and it happened several times. Even with no food, they look for new shelter, especially under water storage or bladders. I put hot glue in the holes on thru hikes or patch holes and spray with insect repellent. I've not found a tent that will stop them. Usually they are fire ants. Good luck.


Us too! Ramatuelle, southern France. 4 years at the same site an no problems but this year they’ve crawled along the guys and nibbled through the fly sheet. Funny enough they’ve only touch the grey material. Now I’ve got a shed load of holes to patch as the tent tent is a little too young to ‘up grade’. Standard mozi spray seems a good deterrent as to whether this destroys the proofing who knows but compared to a hundred holes in the roof who cares?! Thankfully it’s 37c and zero rain.


I don't think there is one tent material that will prevent ants from cutting through, unless you want a ridiculously heavy kevlar tent.

All classic materials are definitely not sturdy enough.

I know of one solution that can solve the problem: coat the tent with permethrin. Not exactly nature-friendly (toxic to many wildlife species, especially beneficial insects like bees) and I don't know what effect it might have on waterproofing coatings like urethane and silicon.

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