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Apparently, You Can Name A Cockroach After That Ex You Love To Hate

You can name a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach at the Bronx Zoo after your ex on Valentine's Day
PHOTO: barbaraaaa/Getty Images

The other day, I passed a dead cockroach on the sidewalk that appeared to have been violently stomped to death by an earlier passerby and I was like, “Awh!” It honestly warmed my cold, hard, New York City heart to stumble upon this reminder that I live in a community of like-minded individuals united by a shared hatred of this universally reviled creature that we would all very much like to see eliminated from the freaking planet.

If this is how you wish the world saw your ex, then same. Unfortunately, most people’s exes aren’t widely despised pests people are desperate to exterminate but rather beloved human beings with loving families and cherished friendships. (Rude.) This can be pretty inconvenient, especially if you share mutual friends after the split who refuse to talk shit because “They’re still our friend, sorry.” Like, grow up and pick a side, traitor.

If you would like the rest of the world to kindly get on your wavelength, might we suggest naming a roach after your ex? Yes, this is an actual thing you can do thanks to the Bronx Zoo’s Name-a-Roach program, to be specific. This offbeat Valentine’s Day tradition has been around since 2011 and invites lovers and spurned exes alike to give their (ex-)valentine the gift of a roach named in their honor. It’s worth noting that the zoo seems to market this gift package as a romantic (??) gesture to be bestowed upon loved ones, but we’re gonna go ahead and save this one for, uh, less endeared folks in our lives.


So while you can’t pull a full Kafka and actually turn your former lover into a creature of widespread disgust, you can—for the price of just $15 dollars (around P800)—get a certificate confirming the ex of your choice now has a nasty little critter in their name. (And you’re making a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which is, you know, also very nice.)

And if you thought that was all you could gift your favorite ex, for an extra $20 (around P1,100), you can splurge on the package that includes either a roach tote bag or a tumbler—because this is a reminder they deserve to look at every damn morning.

To be fair, these roaches are technically not the same as the pests you live in lowkey constant fear of seeing in your apartment. They’re Madagascar hissing cockroaches, which, according to the zoo, are not considered pests and rarely enter homes. Still, they’re pretty gnarly to look at, so it feels safe to say that naming one of these bad boys after the one who broke your heart should probably get the point across. Our exes are absolutely going to hate this announcement, but our exes don’t run this city. We do.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach in the palm of a hand
The Madagascar hissing cockroach is one of the largest species of cockroach, and reaches 2 to 3 inches in size at maturity. Their average lifespan in the wild is 2 to 5 years, and although they have no wings the males do sport large horns. Tiia Pakk/Pexels
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Unfortunately, this is a once-yearly experience (it *is* marketed as a Valentine's Day "gift"), so you'll have to wait till next year to name something after your ex.

Bronx Zoo Name A Roach program
Name a Roach will be back in time for Valentine's Day 2024! Bronx Zoo


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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