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Big Blue Bug Solutions' rooftop mascot wears a mask at its location in Providence, RI on April 30, 2020. Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Creator of Rhode Island's beloved Big Blue Bug landmark dies at 88

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The creator of the Rhode Island landmark, the Big Blue Bug, which advertises a local pest control business on Interstate 95 in Providence, has died.

According to his obituary, George Cardono died Tuesday at the age of 88, the Providence Journal reported.

The idea for the beloved termite came from Big Blue Bug founder Leonard Goldman, his son Stephan and "their outside advertising man" Cardono according to a 2012 Providence Journal column by Mark Patinkin.

Cardono, an artist with a Rhode Island School of Design background, studied termites under a microscope to create the advertisement. He worked with a sign company to construct the segments, according to Patinkin.

The 58-foot-long, 4,000 pound (17 meter-long, 1,815 kilogram) Rhode Island icon cost $30,000, the newspaper reported.

Cardono is described in his obituary as "a true renaissance man" born on a farm in Riverside, Rhode Island who started advertising agencies in Providence and New York and had a long career in different fields.

The Big Blue Bug, also known as Nibbles Woodaway, has been featured on television and in the movies "Dumb and Dumber" and "Dumb and Dumber To." In April, the bug donned a face mask to pay tribute to health care workers and others on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

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