[Ed. – Eewww!]
While others would do everything in their power to keep cockroaches out of the house, one Chinese woman has welcomed the creepy critters – all 100,000 of them.
Yuan Meixia, a 37-year-old pharmacy employee in Fujian province, uses her countryside home next to the woods as a breeding ground for the roaches, which she then sells to a pharmaceutical company that uses it in certain medicines.
The insects will eventually be dried and sold to a factory in faraway Anhui province, but during their short lives with Yuan, she treats them “like her children”.
”These are all my children, my babies,” she says to a Southern Metropolis News reporter on a tour of the facility in Linbian village. Yuan resides at another house in Siqian county, but visits the breeding house every day.
Inside the house, there are zippered silk nets instead of doors and every crevice or hole is sealed shut with cement to keep the cockroaches in.
In hot weather, Yuan cools down the house by sprinkling water on the walls. In the cold, she has a gas-fired stove to keep the insects warm.
Yuan, now a local celebrity for her offbeat side project, raises mainly Palmetto bugs, a large and winged cockroach species common in the United States. They thrive in damp conditions and have a preference for sweets and starch.