How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

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How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Luke » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:55 pm

I have a big problem now.

I've had cockroaches for a while in my apartment. I typically just trap them and release them outside on my balcony (I figure they at least have a chance to go somewhere else). But now it's winter and they usually die when I do that.

But I can't keep them in my apartment either. I recently had a building inspection and my landlord was not happy! If I don't clean a lot, they will kick me out!

So what should I do about these roaches? I figure the best thing would be if I could trap a lot of them in a jar with air holes and bring them somewhere else. But where would be a good place to bring them? If I release them in another building, other people might be unhappy about it, so that doesn't seem ethical.

I need to find a warm place without people for them. I was thinking of a dumpster, but I think that gets too cold in the winter.

If nothing else, I think I'll just release them near some buildings and let them choose their own fate.

I would like to protect them from harm, but I also have these social obligations which I have to live up to.

I've gotten over my fear of cockroaches, which probably makes me seem insane to most people who recoil in horror when they see one or two.

I'd appreciate any suggestions.
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Individual » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:12 pm

If there is no food source, killing is unnecessary. If they are already in your home, killing is necessary; the fruit of uncleanliness.

Is being squished or drowned better than dying of starvation or exposure to the elements?

Also, ask yourself: Is there a net benefit? In the process of making this cockroach happy, am I making myself unreasonably unhappy?

If that doesn't make sense, well, I guess you'll have to just either wallow in guilt while you commit the murder, or let yourself be helplessly overrun.
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Luke » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:15 pm

It's possible for me to trap many of them and release them somewhere else. The question is "Where?" I wish I knew...
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Individual » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:31 pm

Luke wrote:It's possible for me to trap many of them and release them somewhere else. The question is "Where?" I wish I knew...

So then they become somebody else's problem.

Wherever you release them -- there, they will infest nearby areas and spread disease.

Good job on spreading pestilence.
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby MJH » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:40 pm

Hi Luke,

Individual is pretty spot on....
Individual wrote:If there is no food source, killing is unnecessary.


If you keep your living space clean, there will not be a food source and the roaches will move on. If your home is infested, then you have little choice. You should not put your health or others at risk.
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Luke » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:41 pm

Okay, I understand your point of view very clearly, Individual. I'd like to hear what other people have to say.

Spreading disease is one concern, but also Buddhists view all life as being sacred, so that has to be considered as well. Buddhists don't take killing lightly. I think many western Buddhists are still far too eager to kill insects.
Last edited by Luke on Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Luke » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:42 pm

MJH wrote:Hi Luke,

Individual is pretty spot on....
Individual wrote:If there is no food source, killing is unnecessary.


If you keep your living space clean, there will not be a food source and the roaches will move on. If your home is infested, then you have little choice. You should not put your health or others at risk.


Can you think of any good place to move them to?

Maybe outside some power generator or near some machine which generates heat where there are no people?
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby MJH » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:12 am

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure where you could move them to. This is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't situations. I was looking around on the nett and I came across this.....

Cedar oil is a natural bug repellent. All kinds of bugs. For roaches, catnip is also a repellent. Boil the catnip like a tea. Combine 1 part cedar oil with 1 part catnip tea in a spray bottle and spritz around the perimeter of your house/apt. It is amazingly effective.

The only downside, is that this combo is also an effective human repellent. It really, really reeks. But if you are trying to avoid spraying chemicals around your home, this is a good way to go. Just plan to be out of the home all day.

I live in NYC and had a huge roach problem. Now, no more problem.


I found it in the comment sections here..... http://ohmyapt.apartmentratings.com/get-rid-of-pests.html

Good luck.
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Inge » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:22 am

If you can't find a place to release them, maybe you could keep them in a terrarium until springtime?

Killing them I think is certainly not good. I often have similar problems with other types of insects, just today a wasp came from somewhere, and since outside it is maybe ten below zero I can't take it out, and inside it will certainly die soon. I put it in the basement where it is colder, in lack of any better ideas.

I have heard of some people successfully communicating directly with insects and other animals, asking them politely to find another place to stay, explaining to them the nature of your problem. Have you tried this?
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Luke » Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:14 am

Inge wrote:If you can't find a place to release them, maybe you could keep them in a terrarium until springtime

Hey! That's a great idea! That sounds compassionate and skillful. When I've thrown them onto my balcony, I was still probably reacting a bit from fear and anger and ignorance.

Capturing them and releasing them deep in the woods during spring would be much wiser.

I don't think I'll get a full-sized terrarium because that would be too noticeable. I think I'll take some empty glass pickle jars and poke small holes in the lids and keep them in some of those.

Keeping them alive won't be hard. Cockroaches are almost invincible. They can live for a week without water and for at least a month without food. The question will be how to give them water without drowning them in there.

Anyway, thanks for your compassionate solution! Now I've just got to round up all these little rascals...

Inge wrote:I have heard of some people successfully communicating directly with insects and other animals, asking them politely to find another place to stay, explaining to them the nature of your problem. Have you tried this?

I don't possess any miraculous powers, but I suppose it's worth a try.
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Individual » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:05 am

A terrarium? Really?!

:rolling:
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Huifeng » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:09 am

Think: What are the causes and conditions for cockroaches in my apartment?
Then, without going to the extreme of killing them, remove those causes.
eg. food for them to eat; places for them to live; etc.
The use of non-lethal repellents, etc. can also be effective, too.
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Individual » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:16 am

Huifeng wrote:Think: What are the causes and conditions for cockroaches in my apartment?
Then, without going to the extreme of killing them, remove those causes.
eg. food for them to eat; places for them to live; etc.
The use of non-lethal repellents, etc. can also be effective, too.

Are there any chants, mantras, or magic spells that might work?
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:37 am

I'm not convinced that they are a sign of dreadful uncleanliness. I've seen quite a few in very clean areas of my local hospital.

If you clean your place really thoroughly withe the intention of protecting your family, and various bugs die in the process, it is quite different IMHO to stamping on them.

I just Googled the problem and it seems they are OK in temperatures down to freezing point, so maybe an outhouse is a possibility.

Your problem is that whatever you do may kill them.

I'd say the solution is to do what you believe to be most compassionate, as it is your intention which is most important here.

I would only ever take on the karma of deliberately killling another being if they were suffering greatly and close to death.
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Individual » Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:00 pm

Yeshe wrote:I'm not convinced that they are a sign of dreadful uncleanliness. I've seen quite a few in very clean areas of my local hospital.

Not just uncleanliness, but also areas of high traffic
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby alasdairyee » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:06 pm

I would say trapping them in a jar in your place would be the best and most ethical method, maybe give them a little food or something, let them age to death. But then again, too many in a jar, would they mate? Do they even mate?
Haha, but i still prefer the idea of trapping them in the jar and let them age and die naturally. Maybe conduct some prayers for them everyday. And maybe you could destroy the eggs before they hatch, that'd be better i guess.

(Yeah and what Ven. Huifeng said)

Namo Amitabha Buddha!! _/\_
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Individual » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:16 pm

alasdairyee wrote:I would say trapping them in a jar in your place would be the best and most ethical method, maybe give them a little food or something, let them age to death.

Let me stick you in a jar
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Luke » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:06 am

Huifeng wrote:Think: What are the causes and conditions for cockroaches in my apartment?
Then, without going to the extreme of killing them, remove those causes.
eg. food for them to eat; places for them to live; etc.

That's a very sensible way to think.

I did a bit of research. I have German cockroaches in my apartment. They require more moisture than other breeds, so one of the main things I need to do is not to leave in dishes with water in them in the kitchen sink and wipe up any excess moisture. Other things I can do are to take out the garbage more frequently and to sweep up crumbs more frequently.

Something else I read is that "German" cockroaches are originally from Asia and don't like the cold. I could probably get rid of a lot of them simply by making my apartment cold. The thing is that I live between the apartments of two old women who always have their heat cranked up to jungle temperatures, so even though I have my heat completely turned off, my apartment is still very warm. I guess I just have to keep my balcony door open for several hours a day to cool things down.

alasdairyee wrote:I would say trapping them in a jar in your place would be the best and most ethical method, maybe give them a little food or something, let them age to death. But then again, too many in a jar, would they mate? Do they even mate?

I read that German cockroaches live for about 3 to 4 months. Some will probably die in my jar, but some may still be alive when it's warm enough to release them. Because of the effects of global warming, I might be able to release them even sooner.

Yeah, they mate. If a male cockroach and a female cockroach have a good first date, they join up back end to back end for some XXX-rated cockroach business...

alasdairyee wrote:Haha, but i still prefer the idea of trapping them in the jar and let them age and die naturally. Maybe conduct some prayers for them everyday. And maybe you could destroy the eggs before they hatch, that'd be better i guess.

I don't think destroying the eggs is ethical from a Buddhist point of view, since Buddhists believe life begins at conception.

Individual wrote:Let me stick you in a jar

I appreciate your empathy, but most people would choose temporary captivity over immediate execution by being crushed or poisoned (what will happen to them if other people see them).

Anyway, the jars are big relative to their body size, and these guys don't mind living in small cracks in walls, so it's not like they're claustrophobic. They're just busy drinking, eating, crapping, and speaking German with their Asian accents.
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Huifeng » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:12 am

Luke wrote:...
They're just busy drinking, eating, crapping, and speaking German with their Asian accents.


lol

Maybe you all just need some dialogue, get a professional mediator or something! :tongue:
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Re: How to deal with cockroaches ethically in the winter?

Postby Luke » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:34 pm

Huifeng wrote:lol

Maybe you all just need some dialogue, get a professional mediator or something! :tongue:

Doesn't Santa Claus speak every language? Maybe he could translate and sort things out...

Of course, my students here tell me that Santa doesn't bring the presents on Christmas Eve in Hungary; Jesus does! (Santa just has a fetish for shoes here and gives chocolate to children on December 6th.) So maybe Jesus will have to translate instead...
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