How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

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How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby a_human_being » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:36 pm

I did it again. I saw a big silverfish and a kind of bug in the bathroom, and killed them. I don't want to do it again. I just don't know what to do with them. Is it realistic to try to scoop every single one you see up and put in different jars/containers and then let them out somewhere some day a week? I don't even know where to let them out if so. If I take them to some nature area and let them out, will silverfish even make it there? And if I know that they won't survive where I put them out, how is that really any better than killing them directly? I guess the reasoning is that the future is uncertain, and by letting them out, be it in a setting that they might not survive in, then they at least have more chances than if I kill them, which is flat zero. Fair enough.

I would like to find some way to deal with this that would prevent me from ever again feeling like I "have to" kill an insect just because I'm reasoning like: 1) If I don't then they will just become more and more, and that means that if I kill one now then I may not have to kill the others, so I think I am reasoning like I am saving future lives by killing them now 2) I have a responsibility to keep my apartment clean from these "guests" 3) my fiancee is disgusted by them.

I know preventive measures are the best thing to solve this, but I'm trying the best I can to keep the place clean, and the inquiry of this post is mainly about how to deal with these guests once they are there and you have to do something.

Maybe I don't really have an excuse, maybe the only "good enough" thing to do is to really take each individual insect and put into containers as I suggested earlier, and then maybe once a week go out and "set them free" someplace in nature.

I don't feel good about having killed them at all.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby femme_noire » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:01 pm

I can totally relate. For the past few weeks, my roommate and I have been dealing with an infestation of sugar ants. We feel bad about killing them, but if we didn't they'd probably take over the kitchen. We scrub and vacuum repeatedly, and they'll disappear for a time, but then they always come back.

Here's some info on how to get rid of silverfish:
http://doyourownpestcontrol.com/silverfish.htm

A non-toxic silverfish removal product that contains mint, clove and other natural products:
http://www.mycleaningproducts.com/silve ... erfish-8oz

Good luck!
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:46 pm

I can't present you with any ready-made solutions, but I believe two things ought to be pointed out here:

1. There's plenty of insects and spiders human beings can live with safely - at least safely enough. Plenty of creatures considered pests aren't a problem for most of us (though many insecticide companies are busy trying to convince us otherwise). The other day I saw an advert of an insecticide firm which offered to remove not only the usual victims but also . . . common European house spiders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_house_spider). In a similar vein, most of the gruesome stories about wasps and hornets are utter rubbish; I've been having a wasps' nest under my roof for a few months and trust me, they're your perfect neighbours. Silverfish are perfectly harmless, too - I used to live with them seven years or so, and had no problems whatsoever even though my tiny flat was a veritable library; not a single book got damaged.

2. If you do any of the following

RECOMMENDED MEASURES FOR SILVERFISH CONTROL: How to Get Rid of and Kill Silverfish

Sources of any undue moisture, such as faulty plumbing or condensation that provide the humidity favored by these pests should be eliminated.
Dehumidifying reduces the moisture content of the air that these insects find essential. Some methods for dehumidifying include:
Mend leaking pipes.
Ventilate closed rooms and attics.
Eliminate standing water.
Use a dehumidifier an air conditioner.
Regularly vacuuming cracks and crevices with a narrow vacuum tip also can be a good method to physically remove these insects from their harborages.
Removal of food sources , stored in tight containers.
If you have a problem of silverfish inside your home, a good residual perimeter treatment of:


you don't 'control' or 'remove' them, you exterminate them; even everyday vacuuming is a holocaust. Let's be honest: if you've got bugs and want to get rid of them, you'll have to kill at least the ones that are currently living in your house. It's ugly, it's brutal and it's definitely not meritorous - but there's just no other way. Provided, that is, that the bugs are really and truly dangerous - otherwise you can perfectly well learn to love them.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby underthetree » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:55 pm

I think the point is, as Octopus-la says, that if insects/arachnids are dangerous or unsanitary, then they have to go. But if it's a question of aesthetics or squeamishness, it isn't too hard to come to a live and let live arrangement. For the last couple of years we had hornets nesting under our eaves and a regular, nightly hornet visit: a great big orange beast buzzing around. Easy to trap in a glass and put outside - it just wanted the light, not to sting anyone. Same for the spiders my kids hate: easy to pick up and relocate. Why squash a wasp when you can open a window? Ants in the kitchen are, regrettably, another matter.

I actually avoid killing things just because I don't like killing things, not because I'm a Buddhist. I had to kill a few bees the other day that were lingering in a public area after I moved a swarm: they had to go, but I felt terrible. It wasn't the non-merit that bothered me, just that I didn't - and don't - feel that I had had the right to deprive other beings of their lives. We can't help killing things by accident. Walking across a lawn is a massacre even if you bother to look where you're planting your feet. But there's a difference in doing these things because they're unavoidable or necessary, and doing them because of some yuck factor or supposed phobia. But I wouldn't stress about it too much. Humans have big feet, and insects outnumber us by rather a large factor. Be mindful and say some mantras: perhaps it helps. At least, I hope it does.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:16 am

Here's a little info from Lama Zopa.

Leading Insects to Enlightenment
[posted Oct 2009]
Rinpoche gave the following advice on what you can do for insects that you find in your home.

Many animals cannot hear mantras, but all they have to do to liberate themselves is circumambulate a holy object, even without the motivation—that is all. Stupas and, specifically, the four Dharmakaya Relic mantras, have so many benefits. Just by seeing, hearing, touching, or thinking about any holy object that has the four Dharmakaya Relic mantras inside it, one can be liberated from all negative karma and suffering. This means that as we circumambulate with the insects, we are offering them the body of a happy transmigrator in their next life, and a happy rebirth. Not only that, but we are giving them the opportunity to practice Dharma in their next life, which is the most important thing: to have a better rebirth to be able to accomplish the path, eliminate defilements, and achieve enlightenment.

This is an incredible gift. It repays their kindness. They have been our mother numberless times, and because of their kindness we have been able to practice Dharma. As our mothers, they protected our lives from hardships and dangers every day, and bore so many hardships for us. These insects are the source of all our present happiness, as well as all our previous and future happiness, and all the realizations of the path up to enlightenment.

I asked for a stupa to be built at my house in California (Kachoe Dechen Ling) because we got a dog who was in danger of being put down. Our dog is called Om Mani Padme Hum. I thought that if we had a dog, then we needed a stupa so that the dog could circumambulate it every day. Now, there is an extremely beautiful stupa there, covered with tsa-tsas and filled with the four Dharmakaya Relic mantras. These mantras are the most powerful for purification and for collecting merit. Now that we have a stupa, we perform animal liberation practices several times a month, on the 8th, 15th and 30th of the Tibetan calendar and on all Wheel Turning days. We buy worms and insects, and circumambulate them around the stupa as many times as possible. We chant mantras and blow on water, which we then sprinkle on them. Then we liberate them: those from the water into water, those from the ground into the ground.

As there are many copies of the four Dharmakaya Relic mantras inside the stupa, just one circumambulation purifies the negative karma to be reincarnated in the eight hot hells. In each successive hell the suffering is heavier. With one circumambulation, all the heavy, negative karma is completely purified and the insects’ lives are directed toward enlightenment.

If you have a thousand insects and worms and you circumambulate them around the stupa three times, not only will you liberate them from the lower realms, but they will also create the cause for enlightenment. Those circumambulations become the cause of their enlightenment, for them to achieve liberation from samsara, and to have a good rebirth in their next life. Each time you circumambulate with them, you are giving all those thousands of insects and worms enlightenment, liberation, and a good rebirth. However many mantras and stupas are present, with each circumambulation you are giving the insects that many causes of enlightenment, liberation from samsara, and happiness in future lives. You are creating the cause for their purification and for them to collect merit. Along the way, you also create these things for yourself, no question.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby femme_noire » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:31 am

Dave The Seeker wrote:Here's a little info from Lama Zopa.

Leading Insects to Enlightenment
[posted Oct 2009]
Rinpoche gave the following advice on what you can do for insects that you find in your home.

Many animals cannot hear mantras, but all they have to do to liberate themselves is circumambulate a holy object, even without the motivation—that is all. Stupas and, specifically, the four Dharmakaya Relic mantras, have so many benefits. Just by seeing, hearing, touching, or thinking about any holy object that has the four Dharmakaya Relic mantras inside it, one can be liberated from all negative karma and suffering. This means that as we circumambulate with the insects, we are offering them the body of a happy transmigrator in their next life, and a happy rebirth. Not only that, but we are giving them the opportunity to practice Dharma in their next life, which is the most important thing: to have a better rebirth to be able to accomplish the path, eliminate defilements, and achieve enlightenment.

This is an incredible gift. It repays their kindness. They have been our mother numberless times, and because of their kindness we have been able to practice Dharma. As our mothers, they protected our lives from hardships and dangers every day, and bore so many hardships for us. These insects are the source of all our present happiness, as well as all our previous and future happiness, and all the realizations of the path up to enlightenment.

I asked for a stupa to be built at my house in California (Kachoe Dechen Ling) because we got a dog who was in danger of being put down. Our dog is called Om Mani Padme Hum. I thought that if we had a dog, then we needed a stupa so that the dog could circumambulate it every day. Now, there is an extremely beautiful stupa there, covered with tsa-tsas and filled with the four Dharmakaya Relic mantras. These mantras are the most powerful for purification and for collecting merit. Now that we have a stupa, we perform animal liberation practices several times a month, on the 8th, 15th and 30th of the Tibetan calendar and on all Wheel Turning days. We buy worms and insects, and circumambulate them around the stupa as many times as possible. We chant mantras and blow on water, which we then sprinkle on them. Then we liberate them: those from the water into water, those from the ground into the ground.

As there are many copies of the four Dharmakaya Relic mantras inside the stupa, just one circumambulation purifies the negative karma to be reincarnated in the eight hot hells. In each successive hell the suffering is heavier. With one circumambulation, all the heavy, negative karma is completely purified and the insects’ lives are directed toward enlightenment.

If you have a thousand insects and worms and you circumambulate them around the stupa three times, not only will you liberate them from the lower realms, but they will also create the cause for enlightenment. Those circumambulations become the cause of their enlightenment, for them to achieve liberation from samsara, and to have a good rebirth in their next life. Each time you circumambulate with them, you are giving all those thousands of insects and worms enlightenment, liberation, and a good rebirth. However many mantras and stupas are present, with each circumambulation you are giving the insects that many causes of enlightenment, liberation from samsara, and happiness in future lives. You are creating the cause for their purification and for them to collect merit. Along the way, you also create these things for yourself, no question.


Thanks for posting this Dave. I always chant the Mani for these poor creatures and pray that they have a more fortunate rebirth. I do have a tiny stupa that can be used for their circumambulations.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby muni » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:03 am

Also possible to ask info to biologists about the kind of being in the eco system depending on factors like season and so on. If this is not possible there are of course websides what provide some info about this.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby NIRMAL2 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:49 am

Got Any Pests? Call The Buddhist Pest Controller
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt72SbBCaDU
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby Soar » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:55 am

I have silverfish come into my bath too and tried different things. I used to just remove them and put them outside my front door, then i started worrying that i should go and put them somewhere better for them, but this felt like too much to do, and how would i know whats good for them etc. Once mantras and intention seemed to work really well and they never came back for months. Then after i thought i cracked it with this they came back, and mantras didnt work, so I wasnt sure what to do again. Once i got annoyed and fed up with the whole thing, and just threw water on them to flush them down the plughole (wishful) thinking they would be alright, but then afterwards didn't feel right about that. I tried keeping the plug in the bath but somehow they still kept appearing in the bath (might work for you). Finally now, they come and go in phases and I just keep a cup and paper by the bath, and it takes <1min to put them in the cup before I take a bath and then I just put them back in the bath afterwards, and I'm happy with that.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:40 am

I recently had an ant infestation.

I discovered they came in through an opening on the balcony and then sealed that up.

I also found that if I had even the smallest edible crumb or spill of fruit juice anywhere they'd be on it like a Mongol hoard on a Chinese capital.

So I denied them access to anything edible and a few weeks later they all left.

In general insects and pests hang around people's houses because there are edibles to be found somewhere.

Hygiene is of the utmost importance.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby seeker242 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:01 pm

Huseng wrote:I recently had an ant infestation.

I discovered they came in through an opening on the balcony and then sealed that up.

I also found that if I had even the smallest edible crumb or spill of fruit juice anywhere they'd be on it like a Mongol hoard on a Chinese capital.

So I denied them access to anything edible and a few weeks later they all left.

In general insects and pests hang around people's houses because there are edibles to be found somewhere.

Hygiene is of the utmost importance.


Unless they are called termites! It's difficult to get rid of the food when the food is the actual timbers of your house!

As for individual insects, I usually just leave them alone. Some bug in the corner isn't causing any real problems. They are just doing their own thing. As for other insects like termites or carpenter ants, that is a different story as just leaving them could cause your roof to collapse on you. :)
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:11 pm

seeker242 wrote:As for individual insects, I usually just leave them alone. Some bug in the corner isn't causing any real problems. They are just doing their own thing. As for other insects like termites or carpenter ants, that is a different story as just leaving them could cause your roof to collapse on you. :)


Well that's different from having a couple bugs strolling around your house.

If you built your house like they do in India entirely of cement you couldn't have termites. :smile:
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby a_human_being » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:13 pm

Thank you all for your replies.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby tamm » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:58 pm

I've come to notice that I have to take extra measures to keep the house clean and to make sure to use repellent sprays early on in the season. I'm not 100% sure how well it works but our landlord has these little plug in box things that emit a noise frequency that supposedly repels them. I've moved it just recently to be near a vent to outside where I think the spiders are entering my home. Hopefully it helps keep the population down because I get really nervous when trying to extract them! I just had a millipede that I had to let loose yesterday and boy was that difficult for me!
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby Martyn » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:40 pm

I sometimes get insects in my flat, mostly spiders and flies.

I'll trap large spiders in a glass and pick up the smaller ones, and drop them out of the window.

I often get small flies/midges in my bathroom so I keep the window open for them to leave (even during our British winter.)

It's inconvenient for me, taking a minute to remove an insect and leaving the bathroom window open, but I think it's better than killing them.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby tomamundsen » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:22 pm

I leave spiders alone and remove roaches and other pests with a plastic bowl and piece of cardboard. My last apartment had too many roaches and I left after my 12-month lease. The next people taking it over will fumigate the place, I assume.

Intentionally killing pests is very very bad. If you do it though, you can recite aspiration prayers for their rebirth in a pure land such as Guru Rinpoche's Zandok Palri or Amitabha's Sukhavati and then do some purification afterwards such as Vajrasattva.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby femme_noire » Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:13 am

tomamundsen wrote:I leave spiders alone and remove roaches and other pests with a plastic bowl and piece of cardboard. My last apartment had too many roaches and I left after my 12-month lease. The next people taking it over will fumigate the place, I assume.

Intentionally killing pests is very very bad. If you do it though, you can recite aspiration prayers for their rebirth in a pure land such as Guru Rinpoche's Zandok Palri or Amitabha's Sukhavati and then do some purification afterwards such as Vajrasattva.


I usually leave spiders alone as well, unless they're really huge. Then I'll place them outside. It's funny because I used to have a terrible case of arachnophobia, and it seemed like my fear actually attracted them, and I would see spiders everywhere. But now that I've gotten over my fear, I hardly ever see them at all. Sorry for going off-topic.

Tom, thanks for suggesting those aspiration prayers and Vajrasattva purification. Will definitely keep that in mind in the future. Thankfully, I haven't seen a single ant in the kitchen these past two days. :rolling:
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:33 am

tomamundsen wrote:Intentionally killing pests is very very bad.


It is. It's also often quite unavoidable.

Please note that for an action to produce karma one must:
1. Have the intention to commit oneself to the action.
2. Perform the action.
3. Feel satisfied.

The last point is as necessary as the previous two.

Btw, unintentional killing, even though it won't produce karma, is also pretty bad. And the line between 'intentional' and 'unintentional' at times won't be very clear.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby catmoon » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:34 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:Intentionally killing pests is very very bad.


It is. It's also often quite unavoidable.

Please note that for an action to produce karma one must:
1. Have the intention to commit oneself to the action.
2. Perform the action.
3. Feel satisfied.

The last point is as necessary as the previous two.

Btw, unintentional killing, even though it won't produce karma, is also pretty bad. And the line between 'intentional' and 'unintentional' at times won't be very clear.


I'm pretty sure there is karma associated with unintentional killing. Consider the case where one merely thinks about killing a mosquito, and decides not to.
There is neither intention, action nor satisfaction, but I was taught there would be karma associated with it, albeit a very small amount.

Again, suppose you unintentionally sit on a mosquito. Suppose you get up, see the mashed mosquito and think "Ah, good, I hate those little SOBs". There would clearly be some karma associated with this despite there being no intentional action.

The factors listed don't eliminate karma or cause it, the just modify the amount. I think.
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Re: How to deal with "pest"/insects in your home?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:17 am

catmoon wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:Intentionally killing pests is very very bad.


It is. It's also often quite unavoidable.

Please note that for an action to produce karma one must:
1. Have the intention to commit oneself to the action.
2. Perform the action.
3. Feel satisfied.

The last point is as necessary as the previous two.

Btw, unintentional killing, even though it won't produce karma, is also pretty bad. And the line between 'intentional' and 'unintentional' at times won't be very clear.


I'm pretty sure there is karma associated with unintentional killing. Consider the case where one merely thinks about killing a mosquito, and decides not to.
There is neither intention, action nor satisfaction, but I was taught there would be karma associated with it, albeit a very small amount.

Again, suppose you unintentionally sit on a mosquito. Suppose you get up, see the mashed mosquito and think "Ah, good, I hate those little SOBs". There would clearly be some karma associated with this despite there being no intentional action.

The factors listed don't eliminate karma or cause it, the just modify the amount. I think.


I've been taught otherwise. But maybe what differs here is just the semantic scope of the word 'karma'?

Also, there's the problem of the unclear boundaries of intentionality I noted a few posts earlier.
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