I recently started watching a documentary about Buddhism and animals and am curious to understand how the relationship extends to often what we as humans consider "repulsive" e.g. rodents, cockroaches, etc. If the intention is to keep these at bay without harm, how does one achieve that?
The most skillful way would be to ordain as a monk, foregoing the ownership of a house and not having to worry about it. Aside from that, the most you can probably hope to do is keep a clean house and don't let the conditions arise for them to come to you.
Here's a good video on this issue: Ask A Monk: Dealing With Pests
This video includes advice that there are three Buddhist ways to deal with a problem:
- Avoid the situation (e.g. shave head to avoid lice)
- Find alternative non-violent solutions (e.g. repel ants using talcum powder or butter instead of poison; catch rats using humane traps; catch mosquitos in a cup and carry them outside)
- Accept the situation and let go (mental well-being is more important than physical well-being; and mindfulness often leads to being able to resolve a situation)