Large numbers of American military personnel were deployed in the tropics of the Pacific during World War II. Tropical mosquito borne diseases such as Malaria and Dengue are prevalent in these areas. During the battle for Guadalcanal in 1942-1943, almost all Americans on the island were infected with malaria and 2/3 of the deaths were due to disease. This was powerful incentive of the US to invest substantial resources to combatting previously neglected tropical diseases. Experimentation in insect control and development of new tools and methods intensified.
In 1939, the insecticidal properties of DDT were discovered. Desperate to control the infectious diseases, DDT had its first widespread use against mosquitoes in tropical areas. Initially, methods of delivering DDT were crude and inefficient. New technology was needed. USDA researchers, Lyle Goodhue and William Sullivan conceived the idea of delivering DDT as an aerosol.
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