According to Global Times, security officials at Guangdong province's Baiyun International Airport spotted "movement" when the couple's bags went through an x-ray machine.
"They were carrying a bucket, but when it passed through the x-ray something unusual showed up," a security official told Global Times. "One of our staff opened their luggage and a roach crawled out of it. She almost cried," he added.
When asked why they had the live roaches in their luggage, the man reportedly said they were part of a home remedy for a skin condition his wife had.
"They were part of an old folk remedy. You mix the roaches in some medicinal cream and put it on your skin," the security guard quoted the man as saying.
BBC quotes Chinese newspaper Beijing Youth Daily as saying the couple left the roaches behind after being told they wouldn't be allowed to board the plane with them.
What ultimately happened to the creepy-crawlies is not known. Click for more trending news