Zoos Across America Offering Chance to Name Cockroach(es) After Former Partner(s)
Another Valentine’s Day has arrived, and we all know what that means: love is in the air and dinner reservations will be hard to make last-minute.
But, while many stores have stocked their aisles with huggable plush bears, sentimental cards, and gooey chocolates, the Bronx Zoo is offering a different kind of gift for that special (or not-so-special) someone in your life — you can name a cockroach in their honor.
Why a roach? With over 4,600 species of cockroaches, the pest is the perfect representation of something that, well, just won’t die.
Bronx Zoo’s ‘Name-a-Roach’ Campaign
This is the 7th year running for the Bronx Zoo’s “Name-a-Roach” campaign. It has become a well-known and anticipated activity.
This fun and fresh promotion directs its proceeds towards the furthering of the Zoo’s mission, to save wildlife in New York and around the world.
For $15, interested parties can name one of the Zoo’s Madagascar hissing cockroaches after a current or previous sweetheart and send the lucky individual a digital certificate of their cockroach.
The Zoo also offers other additional cockroach-themed gift options such as beanies, mugs, and roach pins. The Bronx Zoo’s website advertises this gift as a representation of the love that will “last a lifetime” because as John F. Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, stated in a WCS news press release, “nothing lasts longer than a roach”.
Originally, the idea of naming a cockroach took wings among the social community when it was suggested as a humorous way to throw a dig at an ex-partner. Following an overwhelmingly positive response from the first campaign promotion in 2011, the naming streak has continued, now with a somewhat salty-sweet flavor.
“[The cockroach gift set] could be sent as a symbolic gesture about how long your love will last or exactly the opposite,” says Calvelli. “Some might say that love is like a roach – elusive, resilient, and sometimes very scary.” After all, what better way to be petty than to name a roach after a pesky person in or finally out of your life, and all for a good cause.
El Paso Zoo’s ‘Quit Bugging Me’ Event
The Bronx Zoo isn’t the only place where cockroaches are getting names.
The El Paso Zoo took things a step further. People were able to submit the name of their or a friend’s ex to the Zoo by sending a direct message to their Facebook page. On Feb. 14th, the Zoo will be live streaming as they feed the named cockroaches to the meerkats, allowing for participants and fans alike to join in on the fun.
The campaign became so successful that after only a few days, the Zoo had to close the naming due to an overwhelming response from the public. Cockroach names (first and last initial) have been posted on the Zoo’s social media.
El Paso Zoo Event Coordinator Sarah Borrego spoke on the campaign saying, “This is a fun way to get the community involved in our daily enrichment activities... The meerkats love to get cockroaches as a snack and what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by feeding them a cockroach named after your ex!”
The ‘Is it a Roach? Test’
As pest professionals, we know a thing or two about cockroaches.
If you’re wondering whether or not an ex deserves to share a name with a cockroach, we’ve compiled some off our expert knowledge into a test we like to call the “Is It a Roach? Test” to help narrow it down.
(*Disclaimer: Even if you consider your ex to be a pest, and they happen to pass the “Is It a Roach? Test,” we are not legally able to remove them, as they are indeed still people.)
Case 1: The “Shows Up Everywhere” Ex
You know the type.
Needy, shows up at the same concerts, decides to attend every friend gathering even if they’re not invited, insists on visiting your favorite coffee shop and just happens to show up while you’re on a date with someone else.
Yeah, that ex. If you have one like that — good news! They pass the test.
Cockroaches are known for their persistence in showing up in all the worst places. The pest typically nests behind your fridge, in small compact spaces, in kitchen cabinets, and can even be found under your furniture.
Seeing cockroach egg sacks anywhere in your home or office is a sign that you may have a roach infestation.
Ugh, we’re good! Thanks.
Case 2: The “I Can Take the Heat” Ex
Caliente! Romantic with a confident smile, this ex liked to turn the temperature up!
They had thick skin and had great problem-solving skills. Nothing creates heart eyes quicker than having a strong, confident partner.
But nothing brings disaster faster than a partner who gets crushed under the pressure of big life decisions. Ouch!
Is It a Roach? Check!
Cockroaches are some of the most durable insects on the planet.
They thrive in environments with heat and plenty of moisture, making them a common problem in tropical and subtropical areas. Certain species can also survive in high levels of radiation, much more than a human.
However, one stomp from a boot or a swat from a rolled-up newspaper and this little guy is bye-bye. Sound familiar?
Case 3: The “Stuck in College” Ex
Let’s face it, a few of us know that one person who never wanted college to end.
And maybe that person was your ex.
You would find yourself watching them stay up all night, eating everything in sight, only to sleep the day away. They’d do things like stand on their head or hold their breath for really long periods of time — just because.
If you had an ex like this, congratulations! They definitely pass the test.
Known mostly for spreading diseases, and perpetuating things like asthma, cockroaches are usually found in areas with food left out in the open.
And to a cockroach, food can mean just about everything. While spaces like nooks and crannies don’t have to be filthy in order to spot a cockroach, they do thrive in less than cleanly conditions.
Cockroaches are also nocturnal insects. While it is a myth that they are afraid of the light, they do prefer to make their homes in small dark spaces.
Cockroaches have also been known to enjoy beer. The more sugar and hops, the better. They can hold their breath for up-to 40 minutes and can handle being submerged underwater for up-to 30 minutes. And what’s worse — cockroaches can survive without a head for an entire week.
Case 4: The “Adaptable” Ex
You might label this ex as “the one that got away.”
They dealt with your crazy uncle, put up with your mom’s terrible cooking, and they were willing to move if the scenario called for it.
They were always ready to go with the flow and do what was needed to make the relationship work. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be. If you’re nodding in blissful remembrance, then you’ll be happy to know that yes, even this ex passes the Roach Test.
Scientists have recently discovered roaches have been around for quite some time, dating as far back as the dinosaurs.
Considering that cockroaches are still living (and dinosaurs are not), we can assume that these hardy insects withstood the test of time because of their incredible ability to adapt to their surroundings.
Additionally, with 4,600 species of cockroaches on the earth, there are only about 30 species that fit into the category of what we would consider to be pests. Therefore, there is a high probability that if you search long enough, you just may find a cockroach that you like.