They call it “traditional medicine.” The million-and-a-half cockroaches in a backyard greenhouse-like facility were going to be ground up and the cockroach “extract” sold as a cure for cancer, inflammation, and whatever else ails you.
Instead, they were liberated by unknown persons and are now causing havoc in the province of Jiangsu, China.
Disease control authorities are working on a plan to try to exterminate the escapees before they invade too many human homes and (ironically) make more people sick.
The owner of the cockroach business had apparently spent the equivalent of $16,000 on 225 pounds of Periplaneta americana eggs, hatching them, and feeding them fruit and cookies.
Quack medicines continue to be all the rage in many Asian countries. They include ground-up rhino horn from animals being murdered in Africa, as well as body parts from tigers, elephants, red pandas and other endangered animals from all around the world.
Unlike the great iconic species that are being killed off in the name of quack medicine, at least the cockroaches are in no danger of going extinct. Indeed, these new residents now proliferating around the province seem to be a fine demonstration of “what goes around comes around.” For starters, contact with their droppings can cause allergic reactions in humans. And attempts to kill them will probably just make matters worse, since the enormous amounts of insecticide needed will doubtless pollute the entire region and create yet more sickness in humans.
Then again, some other local entrepreneur is probably already dreaming up a “cure” for that . . .