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Big Blue Bug

Coordinates: 41°48′25.5″N 71°24′20.0″W / 41.807083°N 71.405556°W / 41.807083; -71.405556
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The statue in 2008

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. It is claimed to be the world's largest artificial bug[1] at 928 times the size of an actual termite, standing 9 feet (2.7 m) tall and 58 feet (18 m) long and weighing 4,000 pounds (1,800 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 Big Blue Bug was built by Avenia Sign Company of North Providence. Anthony Pescarino, Tom Grenga, and Ronald Levesque assembled the sign over the course of a couple of months. Pescarino said, "We had to put the wings together and brought them to Valley Street to have them coated in fiberglass." It was fiberglassed by Robert Garafano, Sr. of Olneyville; it was assembled on site and then raised to the roof. 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 to its original color.[3] It 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 submitted the winning name.[2]

Recent events


The Bug is annually "dressed" for Independence Day, Halloween, the season opener of the Pawtucket Red Sox baseball team, and Christmas (in lights, reindeer antlers, and a blinking red nose). Since 1990, the company has sold stuffed toys in the Bug's likeness.[2]

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]

In April 2020, in support of the "front line workers" facing COVID-19, the Big Blue Bug has put on a surgical mask.[4]

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

The bug has made numerous media appearances, including:


  • Dumb and Dumber
  • Dumb and Dumber To


  • The Today Show
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show
  • The Daily Show
  • Family Guy

Comic strips:


  • Providence by Geoffrey Wolff
  • Roadside America by Mike Wilkins, Ken Smith, and Doug Kirby
  • Weird New England by Joseph Citro.
  • The 2021 novel Providence Blue by David Pinault features the Big Blue Bug as a set piece and plot device.


  • Sara Corben's Weird Island in Episode 39: Rhodeside Attractions: The Big Blue Bug


It was featured on a state scratch-off lottery ticket in 1997.[2]


  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. ^ a b c d Forliti, Amy (May 27, 2001). "For 2-ton, blue termite, near-cult status in R.I." South Coast Today. Associated Press.
  3. ^ a b Klepper, David (April 9, 2012). "Providence's iconic big blue bug gets a makeover". Boston.com. Associated Press.
  4. ^ Milkovits, Amanda; Fitzpatrick, Edward. "Rhode Islanders show we are all in this together — even the Big Blue Bug". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC. Retrieved 12 May 2020.

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