1 Million Cockroaches Escape From Chinese Bug Farmer's Greenhouse

Image: 1 Million Cockroaches Escape From Chinese Bug Farmer's Greenhouse

Monday, 26 Aug 2013 07:02 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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More than 1 million cockroaches escaped from a Chinese farm raising the bugs for use in traditional Chinese medicine, and disease control investigators are trying to figure out what to do to get rid of them.

Farmer Wang Pengsheng recently opened the cockroach farm as a new business venture, investing about $16,000 in purchasing cockroach eggs, Discovery News reported. But someone destroyed the greenhouse where the bugs were being fed in the process of preparing them for sale to those wishing to use them in Chinese medicine.

The Diplomat reported that health inspectors are looking at how to make a “large-scale disinfection” happen, and also, disturbingly, reported that someone who worked at Wang’s farm said 1 million cockroaches may be a low estimate.

Traditional Chinese medicine uses cockroaches to fight several diseases, including cancer and stroke.

Wang had hoped to make about $163 for every kilogram of cockroaches sold; his business now faces devastating financial losses, the Epoch Times said.

In an article in the Modern Express newspaper, roughly translated into English from Chinese, there were indications that building inspectors may have knocked down the greenhouse because of concerns about illegal construction. The newspaper quoted villagers in the area who saw cars parked on the road and a man in a uniform with a sledge hammer.

The building inspection department in the DaFeng area where the incident occurred, however, said they did not demolish the structure, the Chinese newspaper reported. The DaFeng police are looking into the matter.

Modern Express quoted experts who said the American cockroaches would not harm the local ecological systems, but that steps would have to be taken to trap and kill the insects.

Despite the “shiver and gross” quality of the average cockroach, PopSci reported that cockroaches and locusts do seem to have some medicinal potential. Apparently tests have found that they have an antibiotic quality that helps fight off the tough strains of drug-resistant infections.

Which doesn’t change the fact that most of us still don’t want them in our homes.

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