At least 1.5 million cockroaches escaped a Dafeng facility in the eastern province of Jiangsu, China last Friday where they were bred for traditional medicine use.
The cockroaches fled the facility after the plastic greenhouse where they were raised was destroyed by an unknown perpetrator, according to the Chinese Modern Express newspaper. The cockroaches entered the cornfields and were crawling around the area and other nearby farms. Jiangsu Board of Health investigators were sent to conduct a large-scale disinfection routine of the area to contain the infestation.
Cockroaches have existed for more than 350 million years. They were here fifty million years before the dinosaurs and lived through both ice ages because they have features that allow them to survive the winter. In fact, the common belief has generally been that they are the only creature who would be able to survive a nuclear holocaust. They are extremely difficult to exterminate not only because they are resilient, but they are also pesticide-resistant.
Cockroaches can live without food for over a month and survive without air for 45 minutes. They adapt to humans’ sleep schedule and lifestyle so that they remain unseen until they have proliferated in multitudes and literally run out of places to hide. Sometimes it seems as though killing one cockroach will produce dozens more. While some of these beliefs are just hype and myth, there is no denying that cockroaches are some of the hardiest insects on earth and can survive where others can’t.
According to YinYangHouse.com, roach parts or extracts can renew “joints, sinews, bones – contusions, fractures, lacerations” and are also is used for a “wide variety of blood stasis such as abdominal masses and amenorrhea, numb and swollen tongue due to blood stasis.”
At the facility in China, the cockroaches were fed by biscuits and fruits every day. Cockroaches are generally considered as pests but Chinese traditional medicine uses their extracts to improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and treat cancer.
Another website, Herbalshop.com, says that the method for preparing the bugs for medicine includes the cockroach being “caught in summer, killed by boiling in water and then dried in the sun.”
Farm owner Wang Pengsheng spent a great deal of time developing a business plan and he invested over $,300 (100,000 yuan) in 102 kilograms of Periplaneta Americana eggs for his roach-raising operation.
Wang was supposed to make $74/lb (1,000 Yuan/kilo) profit for the cockroaches sold, but now he is facing hundreds of thousands in losses.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas
Source: Business Insider