Treating Fleas?

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby alan » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:43 am

Although I'm not going to stand up and argue for the 3rd paragraph in Olendzki's comments, the fact is that there is no sutta support for this idea that we should respect the lives of bugs. It's a nice idea in the abstract but not relevant to practice, or for life.
Sometimes you just have to get rid of those damn fleas.
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby cooran » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:52 am

Hello tilt,

I don't know that driving a car will definitely kill a particular being, I don't drive intending to kill - but there is a possibility some being could be harmed.

I don't drive the fleas off my body, I take action before that could possibly occur - I keep the place clean, I use repellents, and it all works.

with metta
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:00 am

cooran wrote:Hello tilt,

I don't know that driving a car will definitely kill a particular being, I don't drive intending to kill - but there is a possibility some being could be harmed.

I don't drive the fleas off my body, I take action before that could possibly occur - I keep the place clean, I use repellents, and it all works.
It is not just driving the car, but it is eating farmed food, which uses pesticides, etc. Much of our modern day conveniences of life are bought at the expense of other life forms.

But you are dodging the question here. What if you did get fleas, bed bug, scabies, or other parasites, some of which can only be killed? Some of us are not lucky or as persnickety enough to ward off an attack of fleas.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby cooran » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:29 am

tilt said: But you are dodging the question here. What if you did get fleas, bed bug, scabies, or other parasites, some of which can only be killed? Some of us are not lucky or as persnickety enough to ward off an attack of fleas.


heheh I don't think it is I who is dodging the question.

I don't and haven't got fleas, bed bugs, scabies or any other parasite because I use personal animal and house cleanliness, and repellents.

"Warding off" fleas isn't due to luck, but due to routine care.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby PeterB » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:42 am

Kill 'em if you cant repel them. I simply have no interest in the idea of fleas being reborn, or kamma being generated by their demise.
Fwiw someone mentioned the other day that the Dalai Lama swats mosquitoes, this is a fact, i have seen him do it.
Not that I base my own ethical code on his you understand, but he clearly does not think that mosquitoes are little sentient beings and negative kamma is the result of their violent demise.
The point Tilt makes about bedbugs, or the little burrowing creatures that cause scabies, is a good one. The same with headlice and so on.

Malaria, a major cause of death and much suffering in many parts of the world, is in part being controlled by pouring a film of biodegradable oil on the waters where they breed thus killing millions of the larvae. Are we to believe that this is going to lead to "bad kamma" for the people who apply the oil ? Or does it somehow not count because the mosquitoes are in larval form not adults ?
Or should the Buddhist view that we allow others to accrue the bad kamma on our behalf while we wring our hands and enjoy a mosquito free life ? Or is kamma only generated by killing some creatures and not by killing disease vectors ?
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:45 am

this thread is really bugging me

waawaawaa :toilet:

the topic was how would one treat the fleas not prevent them from coming. ideally we all keep our living spaces clean and uninviting for pests, but sometimes even that does not help depending on where you may live. so what does one do after the fact? say you're stuck with a gazillion fleas in your house? when i was a teenager my girlfriends sisters dog would get fleas from outside and bring them in, at first her room was crawling with them , then the whole upstairs then the house. it was horrible. you'd have little black dots jumping all over you. in this type of situation what is there to be done?
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:58 am

cooran wrote:
tilt said: But you are dodging the question here. What if you did get fleas, bed bug, scabies, or other parasites, some of which can only be killed? Some of us are not lucky or as persnickety enough to ward off an attack of fleas.


heheh I don't think it is I who is dodging the question.

I don't and haven't got fleas, bed bugs, scabies or any other parasite because I use personal animal and house cleanliness, and repellents.

"Warding off" fleas isn't due to luck, but due to routine care.

with metta
Chris
Of course you are dodging the question: What if you did have a case of personal livestock, what would you do? Or since you are doing the Howard Hughes thing keeping yourself safe from all such infestations, what would tell someone who did have a case of scabies or lice or bedbugs or fleas?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby PeterB » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:00 am

To answer your possibly hypothetical question JC, certainly not to sit in Gandhian silence while they bite yer bum. My suggestion is get a can of something that kills fleas and set about them with dispatch and vim.

It seems totally bonkers to me to applaud as I hope every sane person would , the campaign to rid the world of malaria by smothering the larvae before they can hatch. Which results in billions of dead larvae, but to regard the swatting of a single mosquito as murder if it comes into your bedroom..
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby Moggalana » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:01 am

lol sorry, posted in the wrong thread... just ignore this post
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby Annapurna » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:15 am

Hi, Chris and all,

I respect your attitude to catch creatures alive and carry them out, and it is possible with cockroaches, mosquitos, spiders, etc, but it is impossible with fleas.

They are tiny, jump very fast and far, and you can't catch them. They multiply like crazy, and the only chance to get rid of them is to wipe out small infestations adults, larvae and eggs with repetitive measures, or you will have to kill an armada and then need professional help.

Fleabites cause extreme itching for at least a week, and often leave scars.

Preventive measures are important, such as removing all dust, and basically keeping everything very clean, but you also have to spray organic or chemical stuff.

There is no other way to save a house, lest you wish to leave it to them.
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby Annapurna » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:22 am

jcsuperstar wrote:this thread is really bugging me

waawaawaa :toilet:

the topic was how would one treat the fleas not prevent them from coming. ideally we all keep our living spaces clean and uninviting for pests, but sometimes even that does not help depending on where you may live. so what does one do after the fact? say you're stuck with a gazillion fleas in your house? when i was a teenager my girlfriends sisters dog would get fleas from outside and bring them in, at first her room was crawling with them , then the whole upstairs then the house. it was horrible. you'd have little black dots jumping all over you. in this type of situation what is there to be done?


Exactly.
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby Annapurna » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:26 am

cooran wrote:Hello tilt,

I don't know that driving a car will definitely kill a particular being, I don't drive intending to kill - but there is a possibility some being could be harmed.

I don't drive the fleas off my body, I take action before that could possibly occur - I keep the place clean, I use repellents, and it all works.

with metta
Chris


Do you have any pets living in the house, such as cats and dogs, who roam around outdoors?
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby cooran » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:29 am

PeterB wrote:To answer your possibly hypothetical question JC, certainly not to sit in Gandhian silence while they bite yer bum. My suggestion is get a can of something that kills fleas and set about them with dispatch and vim.

It seems totally bonkers to me to applaud as I hope every sane person would , the campaign to rid the world of malaria by smothering the larvae before they can hatch. Which results in billions of dead larvae, but to regard the swatting of a single mosquito as murder if it comes into your bedroom..

Hello Peter,

I'm not sure where you live - but there are no malarial mosquitos where I live. All my windows are screened to keep any flies or mosquitos out. I have no idea what you are talking about with the smothering of larvae and I don't know who you think on this list is applauding it.

I've often travelled in Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and Burma ... and one simply takes precautions with repellents, covering up and not being out at dawn or dusk when the mosquitos which carry malaria are active.

with karuna,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:34 am

cooran wrote: . . . with karuna,
Chris
You are really avoiding dealing with the points raised.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby cooran » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:49 am

No I'm not tilt.

I can only speak about how I arrange my own life. We built a brick house with steel framing on a concrete base, with a metal roof. This was because we live in a termite, mosquito, snake, possum and fly breeding area. The house is screened to keep flies and mosquitos out. The main problems are cane toads, possums and poisonous snakes ... all of which attempt to get into the ceiling or through and open door.

Our fence had termites in it - we hired a handy-man and trailer and the infested timber was taken to a dump and left there. We used steel posts and wire after that.

I would not advise anyone on what they ought to do about any infestation ~ proper planning prevents infestation. Buddhists follow the Dhamma ... they know what the Precepts mean. Intentional action has results. kammasakata.

with karuna
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby PeterB » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:51 am

cooran wrote:
PeterB wrote:To answer your possibly hypothetical question JC, certainly not to sit in Gandhian silence while they bite yer bum. My suggestion is get a can of something that kills fleas and set about them with dispatch and vim.

It seems totally bonkers to me to applaud as I hope every sane person would , the campaign to rid the world of malaria by smothering the larvae before they can hatch. Which results in billions of dead larvae, but to regard the swatting of a single mosquito as murder if it comes into your bedroom..

Hello Peter,

I'm not sure where you live - but there are no malarial mosquitoes where I live. All my windows are screened to keep any flies or mosquitoes out. I have no idea what you are talking about with the smothering of larvae and I don't know who you think on this list is applauding it.

I've often travelled in Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and Burma ... and one simply takes precautions with repellents, covering up and not being out at dawn or dusk when the mosquitoes which carry malaria are active.

with karuna,
Chris

You can afford the repellents and antimalarials, many of the inhabitants of Sri Lanka, India, Burma and Malaysia who actually live there rather than spend time on sight seeing trips, can not.
And tens of thousands of them die as a result of malaria every year.
The most effective way of controlling malaria en mass is to coat the pools ponds and stream where they breed with an oil which stops the larvae breathing , so they die. There is a rigorous campaign being mounted by the UN health org to do just that.
So are we saying that this should not be done and that the inhabitants of those areas of the world where the Anopheles mosquito abound should be urged to don repellent and cover up and not go out at dawn and dusk rather than kill the mosquito larvae before they hatch ?
Or are we saying that its OK to kill mosquito larvae in those countries, but would be wrong elsewhere ?
That kamma is determined by geography rather than intention ? ?
No matter whether we are talking about Islam or Christianity or Buddhism once a fundamentalist reading of source material becomes prevalent, plain common sense goes out of the window.
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:01 am

cooran wrote:
I would not advise anyone on what they ought to do about any infestation ~ proper planning prevents infestation. Buddhists follow the Dhamma ... they know what the Precepts mean. Intentional action has results. kammasakata.

with karuna
Chris
"the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby cooran » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:06 am

Bobby, who asked the question in the OP, lives in London. He was speaking about personal practice. And that was what I responded to.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby PeterB » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:12 am

According to the World Health Organisation's figures for 2008 ( the last available ) there were more than 350-500 million cases of Malaria that year. More than one million of which resulted in death. Children are among the most vulnerable.
By FAR the most effective measure to prevent malaria is to drain the pools where the mosquitoes live. Or if that is not possible to oil the pools so preventing the mosquitoes from reaching adulthood.
So what is the difference between killing mosquito larvae and killing fleas in terms of the Precepts ?
If there is a difference then I would like to see that difference demonstrated. If there is no difference then clearly any reading of the Precepts has to be informed by the reality of a situation not known at the time of the Buddha.
The Precepts were made for and by men. Not man for the Precepts.
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Re: Treating Fleas?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:17 am

cooran wrote:No I'm not tilt.
Seriously, you are. I am not going to ask you to give advice to others; let us say you came to the United States and went for a nice hike in a lovely forested state park and scabies, which is a possibility. These are living animals that burrow into your skin and cause severe itching. The treatment is to kill them.

Then you went to New York City, rode the subway. The person sitting in the seat before you had a remarkable infestation of lice and you became infected. Are you going to pick them off one-by-one, depriving them of food, causing them to die?

You get back home and contract fleas from the taxi in which you were riding, what do you do with them? Start a circus?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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