Traditionally, Buddhism has made a distinction between sentient life
and other insentient life forms. The border between "sentience" and "insentience" is, of course, hard to set precisely (and, in a larger sense, some teachers such as Master Dogen included even mountains and trees and roof tiles as "sentient life"
), but we generally do not treat insects with the same weight as more self aware creatures. That does not mean, too, that we are not respectful of all life.
I have written in the past about how this issue came up at Treeleaf Japan, a group of all wooden buildings, when we had termites ...
Originally Posted by Jundo