This has crossed my mind a few times. In the UK, we have this strong insecticide called "Raid" which is a spray. Kills most insects pretty quickly. I'm certainly no saint when it comes to killing bugs but I have felt a pang of guilt at times. When I was at university, during a summer a huge amount of ants invaded my room. Since this was a discovery after being out of my dorms for a while and I had to get some sleep, I'd have felt pretty worried about sleeping with nearly one hundred of them marching about, so I used some Splenda as a bait to move and isolate them in a corner. The next day I got some of that Raid and watched many dozens of them twitch and die in front of me.
Now, often I wouldn't really think much of it. I think killing insects that invade your territory is justified if there seems to be no way to resolve a situation without killing them. If they pose a threat to you in some way, I don't see much wrong about it. I guess it ultimately depends on the insect in my case. Ants fascinate me. This is a long documentary (nearly an hour), so whilst I highly recommend watching it since it's very well done, you might want to just skip to near the end about ant hills.
In the past, I often thought of ants as being very methodical, sort of pre-programmed to an extent. I suppose that's a general argument supporting harm towards insects; that they're unintelligent, but research has recently suggested insects may be more intelligent than we think. And when I look at these ants and what they're capable of, and how amazing the lengths they go to for their colonies are, I suppose I'm a little empathetic. The ants never meant any harm, and they're amazing creatures. Since when did I have the right to disregard them as being a worthwhile lifeform?
On the other hand, any insects that may harm me, I'll kill without hesitation. Wasps, certainly. I wouldn't feel any guilt at all. Flies that constantly annoy me, I'll also feel the need to kill. There's no easy way to get a fly out of your way. Additionally, I will usually kill a large spider. Ever since a spider jumped on my face when I was trying to get rid of it with a more peaceful approach for an ex-girlfriend, let's just say I've developed a small phobia. In short, I understand the killing of insects if they're pests that can't be controlled through any more humane means. But if it's possible to get rid of them using other methods, I see killing as unnecessary.
How about you? Do you ever feel guilty? And do you, perchance, ever think about the intelligence and lives of insects and watch documentaries? I take a great interest in the praying mantis, and I know they're highly intelligent creatures.
My favourite colour is green, my favourite number is 19.
I don't feel guilty about killing insects, there's more of them then all of humans combined. When it comes down to ants, I lean more to the thinking that they've invaded my domain and I'll do anything to rid them from the house. They would do the same to another colony or even other insects that have stumbled upon their colony. One of the more annoying type of ants is the sugar ant. Their size is very tiny and they tend to be quite hardy. We've used ant trays that have a small amount of pesticide inside them.
I've used raid on wasps and the other more aggresive type of wasps (yellow jackets and the like). I do leave honey bees alone as they serve much needed role in nature but wasps, no. They're on my list of insects to wage war on. With spiders I sometimes don't have any issues with. Take the wolf spider for instance, I usually let them be as they feast on cockroaches. Which down here is a very good thing as Florida is full of them. But I will try to relocate a wolf spider as best as I can. Plus they don't bite you, well not if you tick em off.
06-01-2012, 08:45 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-01-2012, 08:46 AM by Fishbone.)
I agree with CatDog. I really don't like most insects. I won't go out of my way to kill anything, but I will rid them from my house. And I won't ever kill any larger insect that consumes the more irritating ones, like any mantis or spider. I actually refuse use fertilizer or pesticides on my yard, so as to not kill the 18 million anoles out there, which feast on any bugs they can fit in their mouthes, and I have always had less bug problems than most people it seems. And honestly, I am almost phobic of bees and wasps. I really don't like them at all. I'll go move a rattlesnake, but if a large wasp or hornet sneaks up on me and I don't see it from a distance, I can actually shriek like a school girl.
On that note, I have to go feed the silkworms, superworms, and mealworms. I apparently live in my own little paradox
Like catdog stated I think just ants alone outnumber humans a billion to one. Plus they aren't really a sentient being, they only know ant things like gather, feed, reproduce (along with their complex hierarchy of slaves and royalty). They are not capable of choosing between good and evil (there is no ant Ghandi or ant Hitler ) so crushing them means nothing.
06-02-2012, 11:51 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-02-2012, 11:51 PM by Mantis.)
But wouldn't you agree that they have evolved over time to be able to do more complex tasks? Some things that some insects do are pure genius; things that humans could never think of, but that's mostly due to our reliance on technology and doing what we're told. If ants or other insects evolved over time to have different behaviours, surely they have some unique thought patterns. These articles and many others are interesting:
One of the biggest misconceptions most people believe is that knowledge is synonymous with intelligence. Intelligence is a means of acquiring knowledge. It goes without saying that the more intelligent you are, the better chance you have of acquiring knowledge. But it's not as black and white as that. A depressed genius may be outsmarted in the social hierarchy by a man seen as less intelligent but mentally stable, because due to this stability, he can gain unlimited knowledge. Let's take knowledge out of the picture for a moment. How would we survive in the wild without the tools we've crafted through knowledge over many, many generations? That is intelligence. Intuition is born from intelligence.
Well, it depends on how you want to define "intelligence". I think about this allot actually, as people always ask me if snakes or reptiles are intelligent. To me, intelligence is not just based on gaining knowledge, but then making independent decisions using the acquired knowledge. That is really the only way to judge whether something has actually acquired knowledge. Otherwise, the animal is just acting on an instinctual behavior. And with most pets, we use both to one extent or another. A cat using a litter pan is an example of instinctual behavior. A cat learning where the litter pan is, or that different types of litter can be used, is just modifying the natural instinct. A cat finding the food bowl and eating is natural instinct. A cat learning that it can poke and claw you softly in the morning because you will eventually get up to feed it, is some form of decision based intelligence, learned from a previous experience.
It will be curious to see what comes of that research with insects. Allot of that doesn't necessarily prove intelligence yet, as there is a large set of instinctual behaviors in social insects. They can process allot of information, but whatever the information is, it seems they follow a set course of behavior based on the set stimuli. Can the insect learn from things that have happened to it, and then change it's instinctual behaviors? That will be interesting to see.
Over time insects could and very well may become evolved from where they are now. As insects are very short lived compared to us, they can go through hundreds if not thousands of generations in the same time period as one human lifetime. It can be in that time that certain instincts can be learned and passed on to the next generation.
I feel guilty killing almost anything - there are just two things I don't feel guilty about - killing cockroaches and killing ants. Roaches because they're a disease-carrying pest here, and mosquitoes because they're known to carry the Dengue virus where I live. It's all for safety and health reasons, really.
I'm not a big insect fan overall. Those like the praying mantis, moths, lady bugs, and butterflies are perfectly alright.
I have a huge phobia concerning bees, wasps, hornets, etc ... needles with wings *shivers* I'm doing better with bumble bees though (also called carpenter bees here in North Carolina).
Tiny spiders in my house I'm alright with. It's the larger spiders that need to stay outdoors or pay the consequences. All their needs are met out there ... no reason for them to come inside. Either my cats or myself will kill them. Ants also have to go. For some reason we were infested with them the first 2 years we moved into this house. After a couple of rounds of bug spray, I guess the hive learned to stay away from them crazy humans. =)
I don't go out of my way to kill when I am outside (in their territory), but I do defend my home when they encroach on my territory.
(06-08-2012, 01:46 AM)beyre Wrote: I'm not a big insect fan overall. Those like the praying mantis, moths, lady bugs, and butterflies are perfectly alright.
I'm with beyre on this. I don't mind the "pretty" or "cool looking" insects. Well, I don't like moths because they've been known to chew holes in my towels and clothes if left alive in the house. So they gotta DIE!
Spiders - they are the very WORST! I have always been terrified of spiders. Just the other day there was a spider coming down from a recessed light upstairs and I started screaming. Hubby came to kill it, but didn't do the job and the spider jumped out of his kleenex and disappeared. I was all flipped out. Hubby and I looked for that dang spider, but never found it. Then he vacuumed all around the area. Then he stayed up to about 2AM still looking to see if he could find it for me because I was so upset. Then we had to sleep with the lights on for the next few hours until daylight. KILL SPIDERS - NO REGRET!!!
I never kill a bug at all unless it's on my property and it's disgusting, like a centipede for example. If I'm outside, I'm always cautious of stepping on an ant, a ladybug or anything else. Even when I kill a spider in our home I apologize to him or her.
nope, no guilt here. i feed plenty of bugs everyday to my hungry reptiles :p the occasional bug around the house doesnt bother me, so i dont bother them, unless its a spider..i know spiders are important and have no intentions of hurting me, but i cant STAND them!! in the house at least..i love the spiders in my garden :3 like this one!
she is a st. andrews cross spider who lived in my daisys! still waiting to see her offspring :/
Guilty? No, I don't remember ever having felt guilty about killing an insect. In fact, I derive a certain amount of pleasure from killing some insects. Like when a mosquito has just bitten me and is gorged with my blood, I feel rather satisfied by slapping it and turning it into an unrecognizable blood-splattered spot.
(07-23-2012, 10:09 AM)amanda509 Wrote: nope, no guilt here. i feed plenty of bugs everyday to my hungry reptiles :p
You just reminded me that I used to feed ants with some bugs and worms when I was a little kid. I liked to watch ants work together carrying away worms and flies. I know some people might see it as cruelty. I don't know why, but I always cheered for the ants. One time, I was telling a girl who stepped on some ants (I was feeding) on purpose "They will get back at you". Hey, I was under 10.
For me, it depends on the insect. For example, with annoying house flies that pester me all day, I don't feel too remorseful. But often times there will be beetles, grasshoppers, or other insects in my pool, and I'm always in a rush to save them. Ants, wasps, or other insects that tend to cause harm to me, I tend to not think much about killing them.
I tend to be much more sympathetic to reptiles and mammals, of course. For example in South Florida people readily kills iguanas, and as an iguana owner, that's pretty disheartening.
It depends on what the insect is doing. If an insect isn't in my territory, such a my home I tend to leave it alone. But if its in my home then I see no choice but to kill it. I feel the same way about rodents, if they stay outside then they can go about their business and I will leave them alone. Get into my home and sorry time to get the traps to take care of them.
I have a belief where insects are concerned. If they are outside, then live and let live. However, if they are in my home its another story. I can't have an infestation in my house, especially ants, which can be very annoying to have around. So, do I feel guilty taking care of them, no because if they had stayed out of my house, I wouldn't have harm them. There is only one form of insect life that we have allowed to live in our home because they don't cause any trouble, and that is a lizard that has lived in our kitchen. This type of insect or reptile whatever you want to call it, if a good thing to have around, because they eat other insects. So we co-exist with this lizard.
I have only felt guilty about killing an insect once and that's when I was bored and decided to torture it before killing it. I have no idea why I did this and immediately after the killing, I called my friend and told her what I had done. i told her that it was fun for the moment and know that I had a good time torturing this insect before killing was bothersome to me. I felt so bad to point where I was almost in tears. Most would say that the people who find pleasure in torturing animals make future serial killers and I would never harm anyone. After that, I have never felt bad about killing them because it was for a good cause. I mean they were breaking into my house for God's sake--isn't that illegal? :-)
02-20-2013, 02:48 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-20-2013, 02:49 PM by wolfpacklovin.)
I always feel guilty when I step on snails so I try to avoid it anytime it's wet outside(same with worms.) Ever since I heard read that snails do indeed feel pain and have nervous systems. I just can't step on snails, ants on the other hand. I'll tell those lil guy's they need to leave and if they aren't gone by the time I get home, it's an ant massacre in my house! I've always loved snails though. We did snail races in elementary school and I kept doing them even AFTER the assignment because well, I was a weird kid. I love creatures, big and small.
My hubby will kill bugs, but only if they're in our bedroom invading our space; he usually catches bugs and releases them.
In the past few years, the only insects I've had to kill are ants that come into my home once a year. I felt so guilty about killing them that I looked up information about them and read in a few places that ants don't feel pain. I hope that's true. If I do see a spider, I catch it in a tall paper cup and throw it outside in a bush so it has a soft landing, then throw the cup away.
When I kill ants, which come in and invade the kitchen for a week or two, I don't use spray or ant hotels....but I have sprinkled dried grits around or just stomped them so they'd die fast or pick them up with a wet paper towel and wash down the sink. This summer I'm going to try pouring something around the doors and windows that hopefully will turn them away...I think it was vinegar that I read would turn them away, but need to read up on it some more.
I don't bother ants unless they are in my kitchen. I have nothing against the little guys but I don't want them in my food. If they're outside, I won't bother them. I will kill cockroaches anywhere I see them. I think they are vile and filthy critters. I like lizards and worms and will actively avoid killing them by moving them somewhere else.
I don't want to kill snails but sometimes I accidentally step on them in the dark walking home in the evening after it has just rained. I despise wasps because there used to be a wasp nest in my mailbox and I would get stung reaching in to get my mail, so one day I just sprayed some Raid in there, taped the openings closed and waited. That took care of them for good.
I don't really feel guilty about killing most insects like ants or beetles or things that are really tiny like ants. However I've always preferred scooping spiders and larger bugs into a cup and tossing them outside -- though admittedly I think that's partially due to the fact that I hate the feel of squishing them and don't want to clean it up! Wasps or anything that looks like it's going to sting, however, gets eliminated as soon as possible. Mainly my policy is: if it's gonna hurt me if provoked, kill it. If it's just going to give me the creepy-crawlies and make me uncomfortable if I don't know where it went (i.e. giant black spiders!), then it gets tossed outside.