During my first visit to Disneyland, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there weren’t any flies or insects buzzing around and causing problems for guests. Even as a small child, I was fully expecting to spend my trip constantly covered in bug repellent. Thankfully that wasn’t the case—but why? How does Disneyland keep flies away? Well, I have the answer—and it’s quite interesting!
How Does Disneyland Keep Flies Away (TLDR)
To keep flies and other pests away, Disneyland (and Disney World ) uses something called the Mosquito Surveillance Program, an elaborate mosquito prevention program involving traps that lure unwanted flying pests.
On top of that, Disney makes sure to keep their parks as clean and free of standing standing water, which pests like flies or mosquitoes love. Lastly, Disney employs a very specific selection of plants and landscaping that goes into making sure that pests don’t have a healthy breeding ground. In fact, the plants used give off an undesirable scent to pests that’s meant to repel them.
Why Are There No Mosquitoes at Disney?
The most important factor in preventing mosquitoes is the fact that the parks have a dedicated team of pest control experts who regularly monitor and apply insecticides in areas where mosquitoes are likely to breed.
In the Florida parks, with the help of the Mosquito Surveillance Program (or MSP), these pest control experts will initiate regular mosquito trapping and testing. The trapping is done using specialized mosquito traps that are placed in various locations throughout the park. The traps lure mosquitoes with a combination of carbon dioxide and other attractants, and then capture them.
The captured mosquitoes are tested to determine the species and the presence of any diseases, such as Zika or West Nile virus, which if left to run rampant could cause quite a few health problems for guests of all ages!
Once the data is collected from the mosquitoes they have been captured, the park’s pest control experts can use it to identify areas where mosquitoes are most prevalent and target those areas with insecticides or other control measures.
The surveillance program also helps to track changes in the mosquito population over time, which can inform future control efforts. Targeting specific areas with insecticides allows the rest of the park to remain largely clean of chemicals and other things that may cause issues with guests and local plant life within the parks!
Does Disney Have Standing Water for Flies and Pests?
Another big help for reducing the mosquito population is the lack of standing water within the park! Any and all landscaping is carefully designed to avoid any amount of standing water (no matter how small), which is a common breeding ground for mosquitoes, as a matter of fact it seems to be their favorite place to breed!
Typically the landscaping design within Disneyland keeps water flowing away from buildings and paths, and ensures that there are no low-lying areas where standing water could accumulate for the mosquitoes to breed in.
This system uses a wide range of materials such as swales, catch basins and even underground pipes, which allows water to move quickly and efficiently away from the main areas!
Using Plants to Repel Pests
In addition to a great drainage system, the park landscaping features a huge range of plants and trees that are drought resistant! These plants do not require large amounts of water, meaning that there’s hardly any irrigation needed and no water pooling in areas where it shouldn’t! The parks also use quite a bit of mulch to retain moisture in the soil which prevents erosion and a lack of soil integrity!
Despite these measures, there are still some mosquitoes in the parks, particularly during the summer months when the weather is warm and humid.
How Disney Keeps Flies Away
Let’s take a moment to talk about my least favorite of all the different pests that you can find in theme parks—flies! From landing on your body at the most inconvenient times to crawling all over your food, flies are the absolute bane of the existence of many park goers!
Keeping the Theme Parks Clean
Cleanliness is critical to keeping flies away in Disneyland, as flies are attracted to garbage and other sources of food waste. Disneyland’s management has implemented a massive range of measures to keep the park clean, including regular trash collection, cleaning of restrooms and dining areas, and the use of gentle insecticides in popular eating areas to control flies and other pests.
The park also encourages visitors to dispose of their trash properly, and to report any issues with pests that they may encounter. Guests also very rarely see any trash lying around outside of the delegated bins, as the custodial service at Disneyland is constantly making rounds across the parks to ensure that there is no trash left out to become a safe haven for pests!
By maintaining a clean and hygienic environment, Disneyland can reduce the number of flies in the park by a significant amount and minimize the risk of health hazards and unpleasant experiences for visitors.
Disneyland uses a wide range of plants and oils to keep flies away naturally. For example, the park has planted lavender in various locations all across both parks in California, which is known to repel flies and other insects while not causing a problem for humans and other animals.
The park also uses basil, mint, and lemongrass, which have similar properties and aid in creating a park that smells natural and comforting. These plants are strategically placed in areas where food is served or consumed, such as outdoor dining areas and kiosks, to help keep flies at bay before they become a huge problem for guests and employees.
By using natural methods to control flies, Disneyland is able to minimize the use of chemicals and pesticides, which is better for the environment and the health of park visitors
When it is absolutely necessary, the management team behind Disneyland will often use pesticides to control flies and other pests in the park. It is worth mentioning however that the use of these chemicals is carefully regulated and monitored to minimize any potential health and environmental risks for guests and employees.
The park’s pest control experts use a range of techniques to apply pesticides in a targeted and controlled manner, such as spraying, baiting, and trapping. They will only use pesticides that are approved for use in public spaces and that have minimal impact on human health and the environment both within and outside of the park.
The good news is, using pesticides is typically a last resort for park management and through the use of the natural methods listed above, it’s fairly rare that pesticides are actually used to keep away the bugs and flies!
How Does Disney Keep Birds Away?
While this next creature isn’t exactly considered a pest per se, they can still cause quite a bit of damage if they are not properly managed and allowed to get out of control! For our last creature of the day, let’s talk about how Disneyland keeps the birds away!
Just like the flies and mosquitoes, birds typically like to live in areas that aren’t clean and have trash or food scraps laying around that they can feed off of! This is especially true with pigeons, which is the species of bird that is most commonly seen in heavily populated areas, such as cities and other theme parks!
It is true that there are birds that can be seen in the park, however these birds are usually larger species such as ducks, and they are typically not considered pests but rather add to the ambience and scenery of the park itself! Song birds are typically not found in the park because there’s not a large enough food source for them given the cleanliness and organization of the park itself!
Disneyland has a population of feral cats that help to prevent birds from becoming a nuisance in the park. These cats are part of a program called a “TNR“ program, which stands for trap, neuter and release (the exact same system that many shelters use around the country).
These cats are cared for by the park’s staff and receive regular medical care as needed. The cats are not pets, and they are not overly friendly towards guests and even cast members on occasion.
The cats are natural predators of birds, and their presence in the park helps to keep the bird population in check. The cats are not allowed to roam freely in the park during operating hours, but they are released at night typically after park closing to patrol the park and hunt for rodents, birds and other pests.
If you have a sharp eye, you may be able to spot several of the Disneyland feral cats over in DCA by Grizzly River Run, although if you happen to see one during your park visit, please do not approach them, as they have very important jobs and are not typically social towards humans!
We began this journey to discover how does Disneyland keep flies away, but we ended by also learning how Disney handles its mosquito and even bird problem. Hopefully, you found this to be very helpful.
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