Nugget of Knowledge: How Walt Disney World stays mosquito-free

Daybreak

It's not magic and some bugs do still make it into the park but it's mostly pest free and right in the middle of swamp country

(WYTV) – Mosquitoes, Florida and summertime, they all go together, except at one place: Walt Disney World.

Visit Disney World on a hot day and chances are you’re not swatting away mosquitoes. How could Disney World be virtually mosquito-free?

It’s not magic and some bugs do still make it into the park but it’s mostly pest free and right in the middle of swamp country.

Most of the park’s pest control methods trace back to one man. Joe Potter did that. He had fought mosquitoes as governor of the Panama Canal Zone.

Walt Disney hired Joe as Walt was planning the Orlando theme park.

Here’s the secret from Joe: flowing water. No mosquito wants to lay her eggs there, can’t lay her eggs there.

When Joe Potter was helping to construct Disney World, he built drainage ditches to carry away water, they’re still in use today.

If you walk by any body of water at Disney World, you’ll see it’s moving, there’s a fountain or something to keep it flowing and Disney’s buildings are designed to prevent standing water from collecting.

Florida has rainstorms so the Disney World buildings have a certain shape that doesn’t allow water to collect, they’re all curved, there is no place for water to catch and sit.

Even the plants in and around Disney World property are chosen because they eliminate standing water.The lakes and ponds are stocked with minnows, goldfish and more that eat mosquito larva.

One more trick: Disney uses no pesticides but it does spray a fine mist of liquid garlic around the park. Mosquitoes can’t stand it but the amount is so small that humans can’t smell it.

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