Big Blue Bug
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, 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.
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." The bug 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 purple. It 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. It was featured on a state scratch-off lottery ticket in 1997.
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 Bug is "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), and since 1990 the company has sold Big Bug plushies.
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.
On June 5, 2017, the Bug was vandalized with spray paint. The vandalism was repaired on June 15-16, with a seal coat being added to prevent future vandalism.
|Body Length||32 feet|
||40 feet (folded over in pairs)|
|Stands||30 feet above ground|
- 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.
- Forliti, Amy (May 24, 2001). "Rhode Islanders love the blue bug". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. pp. 1B, 5B.
- Forliti, Amy (May 27, 2001). "For 2-ton, blue termite, near-cult status in R.I.". South Coast Today. Associated Press.
- Klepper, David (April 9, 2012). "Providence's iconic big blue bug gets a makeover". Boston.com. Associated Press.
- New England Pest Control home page
- RoadsideAmerica.com Report on the Blue Bug
- Quahog.org description of Nibbles