Does Disney World use pesticides in the resorts and parks?
Yes, though we’ve only rarely seen it being applied or noticed the smell of pesticides. Remember that this is Florida and bugs can be a problem without proper pest control. Those with chemical sensitives, allergies and environmental illness will want to know what to expect.
Integrated Pest Management at Disney World
Disney applies pesticides on the grounds as well as in the rooms using a program called “Integrated Pest Management.” From what we understand, this program tries to minimize the amount of pesticide that’s in the air.
To this end Disney most frequently uses gel pesticides in the resort rooms instead of sprays. They believe that the gels have less of an impact on the air than the sprays; however, if a spray is needed in a room, they’ll use it.
You can request to see the Material Safety Data Sheets for your resort. Disney is required by law to maintain a sheet on each chemical that’s used. Here’s the experience of one Disney guest:
“We were coming out of our room for breakfast and we saw what looked like a pesticide truck. I freaked out – I didn’t want to be near drifting pesticide spray, especially in light of my health problems. My husband went to investigate and then called me over. The guy who was spraying the pesticide said they were using a natural non-toxic mixture of soap, peppermint and rosemary. In fact that is what it smelled like outside. He said it was so non-toxic you would wash with it, and that Disney was now using somewhere around 90% natural non-toxic products for pesticide, though they were still using fungicides because they hadn’t been able to replace them.”
Mosquito spraying happens nightly, last we checked.
With the Zika Virus scare in Florida, Disney has been very proactive about killing mosquitoes. Some of what they do is natural, but we were told that they spray guest common areas with a pesticide every night. We were also told that the chemical they’re using breaks down very rapidly, and when it breaks down, it becomes non-toxic. For details visit our article on the Zika Virus at Disney World.
Insect repellent in each room at Disney World
Since the Zika Virus became an issue in Florida, Disney started including cans of insect repellent in each room. If you wish to avoid the chemicals, you can request that it not be put in your room, or you can just put it outside when you arrive. However be aware that prior guests in that room might have used the repellent.
Fertilizer at Disney World
At times we’ve seen small vehicles spraying fertilizer on the resort grounds. We’ve also seen fertilizer pellets being spread on the ground. It’s certainly not every day, and sometimes they’re just spraying water. Lawn maintenance seems to be handled during the day, rather than overnight, so you may encounter this.
If you see fertilizer being sprayed, you can often find an alternative way to get to your destination, but it may mean a lot more walking. If this is an issue for you, you may wish to stay in one of the resorts that have room entry inside indoor hallways to minimize your exposure.
The only Disney resorts that have these indoor hallways are in the Deluxe category – Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Grand Floridian, Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Contemporary. There are some Disney Vacation Club Villas that also have indoor room entry like Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Bay Lake Tower, Beach Club Villas, Boardwalk Villas, Saratoga Springs and Old Key West. Check to make sure you’re getting indoor entry if this is important to you.
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