From a gardener's point of view are they good, bad or neutral?
Do you mean ant nests or their habit of farming aphids for honeydew?
Ant nests and tunnels underneath treasures are generally a bad thing as they leave plant roots danging in air and drying out. I had one under a rhubarb plant which really struggled whereas its neighbours all thrived until I dug it up and found the nest and dealt with it. Copious watering will see them move on and a dose of essential oil of cloves helps too as they don't like the smell. If you're not organic you could use conventional poisons.
Ants farming aphids spread the blighters on your plants and fight off natural predators like ladybirds and their larvae. Not good either.
Then, of course, there's the whole business of gardening with ants. They get in your boots and in your gloves and they don't half sting and itch when they bite.
Obelixx said it all. In my Fathers garden with very old walls the ants lived in all winter then emigrated to his plants he did not pull any punches. A drop of petrol on the nest and a match, any one for grilled ant?
I usually spray the ant farms. They tend to favour artichoke and centaureas
I usually leave nests that are away from the house.
I was about to destroy their latest farming efforts and wanted to make sure that it was necessary. From what you say obelixx, it's the beneficial insects that they keep away from the aphids
When I was a kid, a local posh department store once had tins of chocolate coated ants on sale. Don't know if anyone ever bought them, we didn't!
Still, it may come to that one day.....
If I was forced to choose between CCAs and snails, I'd eat the ants. Ants v parsnips, I'd have to think carefully