Why Are There No Mosquitoes at Disney World, The Biggest Theme Park on Earth?
There are no mosquitoes at Disney World. The biggest theme park in the world is making sure your time there is bug-free by making mosquitoes practically disappear. And how they do this is really quite simple.
Disney World is a Swamp
Disney World is in Florida, a swamp territory, where insects are more abundant than other places, and therefore, it is far more difficult to get rid of them than in other climates.
Mosquitoes, and insects in general, are stressful for most Americans, mainly for cultural reasons, but they’re also dangerous if they carry diseases like Zika. To get rid of the pests, Disney uses a program of spraying natural garlic spray insecticides, keeping natural predators within a level of harsh vigilance, and systems of flowing water.
Flowing Water is Key
Disney’s methods aren’t to kill mosquitoes but to prevent them from being in the park at all. Their methods target the larvae instead. They make the park a non-ideal environment for mosquitoes to live or lay their eggs. One of the ways they do this is by making sure the park has no standing water—mosquitoes are attracted to still water and it’s an ideal environment for them to lay eggs.
The guests at Disney World usually don’t notice it but the water is constantly flowing. Whenever you walk by a body of water, there’s usually a fountain in the middle of it, or they’re doing something to keep it flowing to ensure your visit to Disney is mosquito-free.
Flowing Water in Ancient Cultures
The idea is not new. During the Islamic Middle Ages, the culture highly esteemed flowing water systems. Architects designed buildings to improve flowing pure water through its structures in order to avoid pests and give a refreshing atmosphere in the contrasting desert landscape. Alhambra Palace is a stunning example.
Here is a link to how water was adapted in urban areas within the Islamic Culture
Architecture in Disney World
Disney’s architects designed the theme park’s buildings to prevent standing water from collecting. Water flows right off of the buildings leaving no place for mosquitoes to proliferate. Its buildings have a certain shape that doesn’t allow water to collect. It’s something that guests would never notice but is very effective. They made every building there curved or designed in a way so there’d be no place for the water to catch and sit there. The architecture is really appealing to the eye, but it also serves a purpose; it makes it less conducive for mosquitoes to lay eggs.
Mosquito Plague Surveillance Systems
The park has something called the Mosquito Surveillance Program to manage it all. There are carbon dioxide traps everywhere, and once they catch bugs, the team at Disney freezes and analyzes the population to determine how best to eradicate them.
They also use chickens. “Sentinel chickens” live in coops all over Disney World. While these birds roam around the park, Disney regularly monitors their blood for mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus. The chickens don’t get sick from the virus, but if they do, the Disney team knows where in the park they got it from, so they can purge the mosquitoes in that area.
World War Fable and Pesticides Against Mosquitoes
This video is full of clips of the Seven Dwarfs spraying insecticides. The clips come from a propaganda film that Disney made during World War II, The Winged Scourge, all about the dangers of malaria and the insects that carry it. The disease caused major casualties for the Allies while fighting in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II.
No Bites at Disney World, No Itches, No Scratching in Paradise
Next time you go to Disney World, be sure to appreciate the relatively insect-free American style utopia.
Check out this recent guru post about possible GMO mosquitoes being released in the US