I had occasional rats and roaches in my previous apartment and every time I killed them I’d feel like I was a selfish, ego centered bastard. I’m glad in my new apartment I don’t have those issues, but sometimes I still feel guilty of killing them.
Yes, I have a sneaky solution, I have huntsman spiders and asian house geckos, between them they eat midges, mosquitoes and cockroaches, so it isn't me doing the killing, I have a python in my shed, he eats rats, green ants in my front lawn hopefully do more than sting me and keep away termites.
Yes, I'd always feel some guilt but I usually try to usher flies or wasps etc out of my house alive and I don't swat anything I don't have to. I have a tougher line against anything that is trying to bite me, like mosquitoes and horse-flies, because they will do me harm and they are literally hunting me. Cockroaches and rats are a health hazard and I don't think putting them outside is an option so trapping them is fair.
I take an individualist approach to these sorts of things. Yellow sac spider that will crawl in bed with you, once leaving a trail of bites on my toddler & wiping out monarch caterpillars on my plants? Dead, inside or out.
Jumping spiders in the house? They're not aggressive and have even been made into pets here.
Rats/mice in my yard that carry lepto? FTS! I have dogs, no contest.
Until i figured out what they were, house centipede, was the one insect that would turn me into a princess(next to ticks) putting me on the ceiling shrieking, but since finding out they prey on spiders, specifically yellow sacs in our part of the country. They get to stay.
I don't kill them except under three conditions 1) poop on my counter, 2) spider in the bathtub or 3) can't get them out without hurting them.
I had to kill a mouse one time because my cat has no killer instinct and tore off all its legs during play. I've never been able to get over hearing that poor mouse's cries.
Not a problem in the world killing feral species, e.g. most rats, mice, roaches, foxes, rabbits, feral cats, etc. Not their fault but they don't belong here and adversely effect species that do. Insects that attack me equally not a problem, every other animal will do their best to kill them so why not me.
Native animals (including snakes, spiders, scorpions, etc.) I'll leave be if at all possible, didn't even kill the snake that bit me, but if I have to to prevent something then I have to. No guilt just cold, hard pragmatism.
I'm reminded of a TED talk Sam Harris gave a year or two ago about AI and the challenge it presents. Within 50 years, maybe less, AI will reach human intelligence and then grow exponentially. The implications are huge. But it was his analogy with pests and bugs that struck me the most. He said we make movies about killer robots and so on in the future that want to exterminate us. But what if they, AI, or whatever, beyond our control, simply think of us like we think of bugs. We don't personally hate bugs and pests, it's not personal or malicious, it's just that they are inconvenient and in the way. So we get rid of them. He said what if AI saw us in the same way, a pest that was just in the way. I've thought about that a lot. I like Harris enormously, as you know from my posts. Since then every time I spray flies or on ants, I think of it.
My basic rule is that the creatures were here first. If they don't pose a health hazard, I leave them alone. No rodents in the house. We have cats to enforce that rule. Insects outside only. .Bees are encouraged as long as they pose no sting hazard to our guests.
I do feel bad about it. But that doesn't stop me. You just have to compartmentalize and move on. It's good that you don't deal with the problem by convincing yourself they don't feel pain or something (which would spare your ego, that's what most people do)
Roaches and mice are disease carriers, so no. I like spiders and I leave them alone, they eat insects that bite me. Snakes, as long as they stay out of my house they are ok. I will put them out of my house, unless they are poisonous So far the snakes have stayed out of my way.
No guilt on killing roaches. Living in Florida, they're everywhere and they fly! Yeah. NO! Spiders I usually take them outside if I see them. They eat other critters so don't bother me. Anything with scales - NO WAY! Love them and leave them to do their thing. Rats/ Mice and all the other rodenty things are too cute to kill. Plus they're way smarter than we give them credit for.
Actually, I do feel guilty. I don't get that many bugs in my house, but when I see an occasional roach or lizard (anole), I try my best to capture them and toss them out the front door. (Roaches in a bottle, and the cute lizard with my hands.) One time I had squirrels in the attic: I set live traps, caught 'em, and drove them a few miles away to release them in a park with lots of trees.
Silverfish I always kill = Why do I dislike silverfish so much? No guilt there. Ants are easier to just feed them with a drop or two of sugar & borax solution that they love to eat and take back to their nests and it kills them all (otherwise, I'd be seeing them everywhere). I feel guilty about that.