When Did Cockroaches Become a Valentine’s Symbol?

There are plenty of symbols of love, but this is the first year I can remember cockroaches being used to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Different zoos are finding unique ways in 2019 to celebrate Valentine’s Day…but the strangest involves cockroaches.

Yes, you read that correctly: the cockroach is suddenly taking a place next to flowers and candy as a symbol for February 14th…otherwise known as St. Valentine’s Day.

There’s more than one way cockroaches can symbolize the day.

Different zoos have come up with different ways to involve the detestable insects in a celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.

Across the pond, the Hemsley Conservation Centre offered people the chance to name a cockroach after an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

Anyone who paid £1.50 (about $2), would receive a certificate indicating a cockroach had been named for someone and that person’s name would wind up on a cockroach wall in the enclosure. The tongue-in-cheek promotion was designed to raise money for the center’s other programs.

The El Paso Zoo in Texas decided to take the cockroach naming idea to a new high — or low, depending on your point of view. It offered people the chance to have a cockroach named for their exes, and then promised to then feed those cockroaches to meerkats. There’ll be an opportunity to watch the feeding on the zoo’s meerkat camera.

The meerkat, incidentally, is related to the mongoose, if that helps you picture what they look like. If it doesn’t, try this link. As cute as they are, I don’t think I want to watch anything eat roaches.

The zoo didn’t even charge for the naming option. I think they might have missed out on some revenue, but they’ve since posted on their Facebook page that they’ve received inquiries about donations for the event. So it sounds like some people are willing to help in any case.

On the other hand, if you don’t have an ax to grind with a former love and your current love has an enormous sense of humor, the Bronx Zoo offered the opportunity to name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after that special someone. They billed it as a way to show that your love is eternal, since cockroaches are said to have been around for at least 300 million years.

“After the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers wilt, roaches remain thriving and triumphant,” the site says.

Well, that’s one way to look at it.

Would you be offended if someone named a roach after you?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.