Should I get rid of ants in my yard?

Question: I saw an ad that said I should get rid of "wood" ants in my yard. What does the University recommend about outside ants?

Answer: You want to have ants in your yard. They kill termites and eat many other pests, e.g. Japanese beetle eggs. Their foraging cleans up the constant plant debris created in a landscape. Their soil tunnels aerate the soil, helping plant roots get the oxygen they must have to survive. Their tunneling also moves nutrients deep in the soil up to where roots can use them. All in all, ants are a part of a healthy landscape. Occasionally "wood" or carpenter ants, native to Maryland, can be a problem if they nest in the wrong place. In that case, please call us or see our online publication, "Carpenter Ants."

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