Police were alerted in China after a lonely widower was found to be keeping 200,000 cockroaches as pets.

A horrified neighbour saw the insects swarming across the floor of the man's house in Beijing.

The pensioner told police he had begun breeding the cockroaches as a hobby after his wife died.

It took health officials two hours to kill the insects and disinfect the man's home, according to the Beijing Morning Post.