WEIRD NEWS

Shelby Counterman, 8, Has Thousands Of Cockroach Pets

02/24/2015 07:36 pm ET | Updated Feb 24, 2015

Like many 8-year-old girls, Shelby Counterman has a doll house in her room. She also has something most girls don't have: Thousands of breeding cockroaches as pets.

Shelby, who lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, became a cockroach collector when she was 3, after a neighbor generously gave her some bugs of her own.

At first Shelby was bugged that the only roaches she owned were boys, so she took matters into her own hands by going to a local pet store.

"I went to Safari Joe's and told them about my problem that I didn't have babies," she told NewsOn6.com. "So they gave me some more boys and girls and then I started to breed."

The bugs do not have the run of the house. Shelby keeps them in special plastic containers, and aquariums lined with Vaseline, which helps keep the roaches from crawling out and getting to the rest of the house, the Daily Mail reports.

Shelby's mom, Meg Counterman, admits her daughter's hobby was a little creepy at first, but they've gotten used to it.

"A very wise friend told me a long time ago, that you can't instill your own fears and prejudices into your children. and you have to let them follow what they're interested in," Counterman said, according to WFMYNews2.com. "This is something, when she was 18 months old when she started being attracted to bugs. I couldn't say no. It's hard not to let her follow her interests."

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