Okay, I know I'm not suppose to use certain words in public, so you'll just have to guess at what word I used.
Here's what happened to give you an idea of which section of the dictionary to look in. I was watering plants this morning and decided that I should move a couple of plants. I had these plants sitting in a 1/2 wine barrel, behind chicken wire, so that the rabbits couldn't eat them. When I picked one up, I noticed some small white grains of rice moving along in the moist soil where the pot had been sitting. I quickly picked up another pot, and more white critters. After removing the rest of the pots, I moved the barrel (not easy to do when it's full of soil) and there were more white critters.
One word -- TERMITES!!!
Next words -- Oh ****!!!
A couple of years ago we found them inside our house, so we had the house treated and trenched. In theory, the trenching chemicals should last 5 years, so in theory we have 3 years to go. But I don't like to push our luck. So, I moved that barrel and another one out by the retaining wall. The other one didn't have any termites, so I'm hoping the problem is in one area of the yard.
But this does give me a wake up call on moist soil and the nasty buggers. I was going to put in roses and other perennials up next to our house, but not now -- I'd just be attracting them closer. Instead, I'm going to put in a cactus and succulent bed, which will require less water, so it shouldn't be as attractive to termites.
I really wish that someone had given me a handbook for desert living when I moved in here. Who knew that a whiskey barrel with moist soil in would attract termites?!