Nibbles Woodaway dons a face mask

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May 1, 2020

PHOTO: BIG BLUE BUG SOLUTIONS

PHOTO: BIG BLUE BUG SOLUTIONS

Nibbles Woodaway is a Rhode Island landmark. The replica Eastern subterranean termite (Reticulitermes flavipes) is 58 feet long, 9 feet tall and weighs 4,000 pounds.

Since 1980, he has stood sentry overlooking I-95 in Rhode Island, becoming so recognizable to the locals that the Providence, R.I.-based company he represents was renamed Big Blue Bug Solutions in 2012. Even his formal name was a result of a local radio contest.

This week, Nibbles formally adopted a face mask as part of everyday life, doing his part to both recognize the heroic work of frontline workers throughout the state of Rhode Island and to encourage his fellow Rhode Islanders to continue the practice of wearing face protection while in public.

“We have always taken great pride in the fact that we have become a symbol of Rhode Island,” Brian Goldman, third-generation CEO of Big Blue Bug, tells Pest Management Professional (PMP). “Whenever there is something relevant going on, we feel like it’s our duty to inspire our community. We received an overwhelming number of requests to put a mask on The Bug.”

PHOTO: BIG BLUE BUG SOLUTIONS

PHOTO: BIG BLUE BUG SOLUTIONS

One of those requests, Goldman says, was an emotional one that came from a frontline worker. “Our office is located just blocks away from the largest hospital in Rhode Island, and the one that has been dealing most with this pandemic,” Goldman tells PMP. “We knew we had to do something, but the logistics became difficult. A cloth mask just could not work. And then one of our managers, Rich Autieri, recommended painting the mask directly on The Bug.”

The Big Blue Bug team worked with Wakefield, R.I.-based Dennis Moffitt Painting, which specializes in painting murals.

Goldman says the results were amazing. “Once it was finished, we thought it looked even better than if we had put on a real cloth mask,” he tells¬†PMP. “We believe this is the perfect way for us to thank our frontline workers and the rest of Rhode Island during this pandemic.”

Read more COVID-19 coverage here: MyPMP.net/COVID-19

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About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at hgooch@northcoastmedia.net or 330-321-9754.

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