Kyle Kandilian, a 20-year-old student from Dearborn, Michigan, has a very unusual hobby – he enjoys raising cockroaches as pets. His bedroom walls are decked with boxes and crates which hold around 200,000 roaches he breeds for fun and profit.
Kyle’s passion is probably going to bug a lot of people, seeing as most people tend to freak out if they so much as hear the word “cockroach”. But Kyle is not most people. Ever since he got to see and hold some Madagascar hissing roaches during a tech day exhibit at the University of Detroit Mercy, he has been fascinated with them. He came home that day and asked his mother if he could have one as a pet, but his mother looked him in the eye and said ”Kyle? You are never bringing cockroaches into this house.” Today his bedroom is home to around 200,000 cockroaches from 130 varieties, and his parents are very supportive of his passion. Maybe “supportive” is pushing it a little, but Kyle agrees they are “very tolerant of his enthusiasm”. He is aware that cockroaches are usually a taboo topic, but says he has never tried to hide his hobby, instead talking openly and enthusiastically about bug passion in an attempt to change people’s perception of them. He claims only about a dozen of the 4,000 known species of roaches are actually pests, but they manage to give all of them a bad name.