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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Karma of Bugs

Do you believe in karma? Not in the Shirley Maclaine “I was Cleopatra” sort of way. More as a practice — do something nice, something nice will happen to you, do something bad, something bad will happen to you. Think of it as “putting a vibe into the universe”; good or bad, it comes back.

Normally I live like a decent person. I greet the people I pass on the street with a nod and a “How ya doin’?”. I donate things I no longer use — not those things that no longer work (big karma difference). I back off my acceleration if the car next to me has on their turn signal to let them safely merge (that will win you BIG points in karma, trust me).

But when it came to bugs most of my life had a “kill or be killed” motto, ending with a squishing, stomping, whacking, or better yet, calling-of-the-husband to eliminate the intruder.

Most of us had some line we draw about how to handle the bug. Some of us have no issue with butterflies, ladybugs, dragonflies, but we recoil from spiders, roaches, and bees.

When I started thinking about bugs as allies, however, my attitude changed.

It’s not really its fault, you know, that it found its way into my home. It’s probably thinking, “I knew I should have made that left in Albuquerque.” The spider sits in an empty web; odds are it will starve since I relish flies as much as spiders.

I’ve changed my strategy. It takes courage, but over time I’ve gotten confident and efficient at sending them packing. Here’s my tactic.

Once I spot the critter I get two tools; a cup (clear glass or plastic, so you can see) and a small stiff piece of paper. The paper’s the key, here. Stiff enough to leverage, yet thin enough to get under the cup. Creeping up on the little varmint quickly place the cup over the bug, trapping it. Then slide the paper between the surface and the cup. With a little coordination, keeping the paper “lid” on the cup, take your newly created mobile prison to the nearest window, or outside. Release your captive. All done.

Some intruders, like flies (once we had a wasp!) are harder to trap. They take time and a bit of courage, but trapping a wasp is tons easier (not to mention safer) than killing it with a broom. Moreover, research has recently showed that wasps and bees have memory. That’s right, they will remember you. I’d like to use this information to my advantage rather than my detriment.

Who knows? If you believe in Buddhist karma and kill your home’s pest, maybe you will come back as a bug yourself.  And you wouldn’t wind up in your own home, now, would you?

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