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Thermwood

Metamorphosis: How a Two-Ton Termite Became a State Icon

25 July 2000

The world's biggest sculpture of a termite, Nibbles Woodaway, is revered as an icon in the state of Rhode Island. The 20-year-old, 58 feet long, two-ton fiberglass blue bug was built to advertise the services of the New England Pest Control Co., a local exterminator. Providence Mayor Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci explains the bug's popularity: "It's kind of our own little symbol of ... uh ... uh ... I don't know what." Victoria "Vicky" Vona, Mrs. Rhode Island International 2000, who plans to speak about the termite in next month's competition for the title of Mrs. International, says, "Each contestant is required to speak about her state, and in my opinion, nothing says 'Rhode Island' like the big blue bug."