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Disney uses Test Chickens to Help Control Mosquitoes

You know that saying that you don’t notice the absence of something if you never knew it was there in the first place? Well that’s true about Walt Disney World and Mosquitoes. I mean we’re in the middle of Florida in a very swampy situation and yet, there are very few of the pesky blood-suckers around. How does Disney do it?

Well they get some help from the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the Disney owned governmental body for the property WDW sits on. Here’s a crazy quote from their website:

Mosquito Control
Planning and Engineering is also responsible for monitoring mosquito populations and arbovirus activity and directing mosquito control operations within the District. Mosquitoes are collected, counted and identified by species weekly form 70 different sites. Additionally, a representative sample of mosquitoes are dissected to determine their age and thereby identify their ability to transmit disease. The District currently houses eight sentinel chicken flocks. The chickens are tested weekly throughout the year for the presence of antibodies to mosquito-borne viruses. The test results help define mosquito control activities such as spray frequencies and type of treatment applied. This program has been highly successful in minimizing concerns that could substantially affect the public.

Yep, that’s right. Somewhere on Disney property right now are a couple flocks of chickens being kept alive as canaries in a coal mine. They get sick so you don’t have to.

Elsewhere behind the scenes is a small army of workers treating water ponds, inspecting traps, and performing other types of test control as this archived article discusses (test account required to read). They have to cover over 68 miles of roads, canals, and walkways and use pesticides approved by the state of Florida.

Disney also practices something called Integrated Bug Management. They deliberately release good bugs who feast on the larva of the bad bugs. Over 250,000 of these good bugs are released each year to help keep the bad bug population down.

Do you notice the bugs when you visit Disney World? What are your tips for keeping away the bugs when you visit Walt Disney World?