As Part Of Its Mosquito Fighting Arsenal, Disney World Uses Which Of These Domestic Animals?
Disney World is located in central Florida which, for the unfamiliar, is a very hot, very humid, and very mosquito-friendly place. In order to make Disney World a more pleasant and safe experience for park visitors, Disney goes to great lengths to minimize the mosquito population.
Many of the techniques they use are rather conventional, albeit more precisely and consistently organized than in other places. They spray for mosquitoes, they minimize places where water pools can stagnate, and they keep the natural and man-made bodies of water on the park grounds healthy so that there is a natural balance (and plenty of fish and frogs to eat up the mosquito larva).
Beyond that though, they take measures that your local parks department definitely isn’t using. They maintain active carbon-dioxide traps around the park system to monitor mosquitoes in order to gauge their numbers, which species they are, and which part of their life cycle the majority of bugs in the park are currently in. Further, and definitely most interestingly, they also keep a small army of chickens hidden in coops throughout the park system.
Why chickens? It’s not because the chickens eat the mosquitoes, but because the chickens will register antibodies for human diseases carried by the mosquitoes without getting sick from the diseases themselves. Disney employees consistently take blood samples from the chickens to pinpoint when and where any disease vectors crop up and then increase their mosquito fighting measures accordingly to ensure that nobody’s trip to the Magic Kingdom ends up with a not so magical trip to the hospital.
Image courtesy of Disney.