Should You Have Moral Qualms About Killing Mosquitoes?

I fully understand the trouble mosquitoes can cause from some of my travels through the jungles across Asia and South America. What I will say is this, there is certainly no need to feel terrible if you have killed them. Mainly because it doesn’t do any good. Does the mosquito feel guilty for drinking your blood, disturbing your sleep, and risking your health? Of course not. This is the law of the jungle: eat or be eaten. It isn’t cruel. It isn’t even “me vs them.”

It is the whole of life, working together towards reaching higher states of consciousness.

Like the indigenous tribes have shown us when they would hunt the majestic bison. They love the bison, they tell the bison, “I got you in this life brother, you will get me in the next.” They understand that this isn’t murder, it is life supporting life. They lived in the grassy plains. They didn’t have supermarkets stocked with beans, lentils, nuts and tofu.

We don’t have to feel bad about killing mosquitoes, but we can still give these bugs the reverence they deserve. We can do what needs to be done mindfully, respectfully, and with restraint when possible. This is the way of compassion — compassion towards yourself and compassion for those buzzing pesky little annoying beautiful souls.

Be Like the Horse

A horse does not hate the bugs it swats with its tail. It stays peaceful and still no matter how many times it has to swat away pests. So too, we can keep our homes pleasant and calm, even as we protect our home/tent/cabin from infestation.

Similarly, the horse doesn’t go on a killing spree of flies. When we are out in nature, it would be futile to try to kill every mosquito. In that case, we are in their home. The more we practice peaceful acceptance, the less mosquitoes bother us. We can still swat them away, but there’s no need to lose our temper or think we can kill them all.

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Do Mosquitoes Have Souls?

A mosquito, like every other living thing, perceives the Earth around it. It is conscious of what a mosquito’s eyes can see, what a mosquito’s mind can perceive, and of the world around it from its unique point of view.

They want to live, they want to reproduce, and they want to make sure their offspring can thrive. And, they sure love blood. Not every mosquito will live into old age, but that need not be a tragedy. That is life.

Just as every living being has a soul, there is also the one life that connects all beings. That is the higher reality of our universe. From the One comes the many. Life will live on, and that is what matters. If not on this planet then on some distant planet. If not in this universe then in another. The universe is designed for life. This is why wherever we look in the natural world there is beauty, from the sky to the ocean to the trees and flowers.

Every single mosquito, snake, spider and shark is beautiful, wise and majestic. Every ant and caterpillar is infused with the miracle of life, even though we may accidentally step on them from time to time. The key is to live mindfully, to live in harmony, and to live lovingly. A tiger doesn’t feel guilty for killing a gazelle, but it also doesn’t kill more than it needs to.

All we can do is our best to cause no harm, accept when we fail, and aim to improve. If we kill a mosquito out of habit, we can plant a tree that will sustain thousands of lifeforms. If we have to call pest control for our home, we can rescue a puppy.

A virus may kill us, but it is not evil. It is its nature. No human is free from the karma of killing. All we can do is evolve our consciousness, and in so doing improve our nature.

We must consume life to live. Not every seed will become a tree. That’s OK. To be alive is to die. It is a miracle to live, and so it is to die. If we see the interconnected, interdependent nature of reality, we can remain at peace through life and death.

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***Question Answered***

Q: Dear Todd, behind my house, there is a quite big pond with some stuck waters where birds and insects live. I put mosquito nets in all windows and doors that connect with the exterior. The number of mosquitos and flies entering the house has reduced approx. 80% but still some come in, especially at night.

I hate and reject the idea of killing any type of animal including insects, I know they have souls. BUT… at night while sleeping I have been bitten by mosquitos several times and twice in the eye which could have complicated a severe health problem.

Now, before going to bed, if I see a mosquito in the bedroom I kill him. And pray for him to shift to a better life. But, I feel terrible. I am not at peace within me because of this. I am realizing that I am going to bed every night feeling bad about myself. Please, any comments or advice or reflections?