Remember the final chapter of Creepshow, entitled “They're Creeping Up on You?” Of course you do... and if you just squirmed in your seat at the memory of the climactic cockroach invasion (not to mention roaches-gone-wild movies like Bug and The Nest, or those huge scarab swarms in The Mummy), then it's a safe bet this story is going to be an uncomfortable read.
According to the newspaper Modern Express, a farmer in the rural town of Dafeng in the Chinese province of Jiangsu had been raising one and a half million Periplaneta americana, or common American cockroaches, in a plastic greenhouse before an unknown intruder destroyed the enclosure and released the critters into the surrounding cornfields.
The roach wrangler, Wang Pengsheng, actually had a very practical reason to go into the bug business, and none of it involved taking over the world (as far as we know). The cockroach is a key ingredient in some forms of traditional Chinese medicine, and substances within its body are believed to be beneficial in treating a variety of ailments, including cancer. Pengsheng had invested a fair chunk of change in raising prime-grade Periplaneta, and had even been feeding the bugs a specialized diet of fruits and biscuits... and totally not human bodies. We'd just like to make that clear.
Local authorities, including safety and disease control experts, are currently working on a plan to stop the roaches from destroying the surrounding crops... and from creeping up on the surrounding town.
Hey, did you just feel something brush against your leg?