Big Blue Bug

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Nibbles Woodaway

The Big Blue Bug, also known as Nibbles Woodaway, is the giant termite mascot of Big Blue Bug Solutions, located along I-95 in Providence, Rhode Island. The Bug is claimed to be the world's largest artificial bug[1] at 928 times the size of an actual termite, standing at 9 feet (2.7 m) tall and 58 feet (17 m) long, and weighing 4,000 pounds (1800 kg). It was constructed over a four-day period from wire mesh and fiberglass in late 1980 at a cost of $20,000.[2]

The Bug was originally painted purple (the color of an actual swarming termite when observed under a microscope), but the paint soon faded to a pale blue and the landmark became so well known in that condition that it was never repainted purple. The Bug has made numerous media appearances, including the films Dumb and Dumber, Dumb and Dumber To, the television programs The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show, and Family Guy, the comic strips Zippy the Pinhead and Bosquet, and the books Providence by Geoffrey Wolff, Roadside America by Mike Wilkins, Ken Smith and Doug Kirby, and Weird New England by Joseph Citro.

The Bug was originally known only as the "Big Blue Bug," a name coined by Providence traffic reporter Mike Sheridan, until it received the name Nibbles Woodaway in a contest in 1990. Geraldine Perry of Tiverton, Rhode Island submitted the winning name.

The Big Blue Bug was built by Avenia Sign Company of North Providence,RI. Anthony Pescarino, Tom Grenga and Ronald Levesque assembled the sign over the course of a couple of months. Anthony Pescarino said, "we had to put the wings together and brought them to Valley Street to have them coated in fiberglass.". The bug was fiberglassed by Robert Garafano, Sr whose company was in Olneyville, Providence. It was then assembled on site and then raised to the roof. The Big Blue Bug has also been featured on scratch-off lottery tickets, and was officially pardoned by Mayor Buddy Cianci for drinking Del's Lemonade (competitors of Del's claimed that the cup of lemonade was an impermissible billboard).

The Bug left its home on June 20, 2002 for a five-stop tour. It was refurbished and painted a brighter blue before being returned to the roof of New England Pest Control.

On April 9, 2012, New England Pest Control announced that they would be changing the company's name to "Big Blue Bug Solutions". The Bug "wore" a necktie for the occasion.[3]

Big Blue Bug Statistics
Species Subterranean Termite
(Reticulitermes flavipes)
Height 9 feet
Length 58 feet
Diameter 6 feet
Body Length 32 feet
Four Wings
40 feet (folded over in pairs)
Antennae 7 feet
Legs 11 feet
Weight 4000 lb
Stands 30 feet above ground

References[edit]

  1. ^ Patinkin, Mark (18 March 2014). "In Rhode Island we set Guinness-worthy records every day". Providence Journal. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Forliti, Amy (May 24, 2001). "Rhode Islanders love the blue bug". Associated Press. Retrieved July 24, 2001. 
  3. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/iconic-big-blue-bug-along-i-95-in-ri-now-sports-a-tie-after-company-renamed-in-his-honor/2012/04/09/gIQAfwCg6S_story.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°48′25.5″N 71°24′20.0″W / 41.807083°N 71.405556°W / 41.807083; -71.405556