Biting Words

In the mid-20th century tensions between humans and mosquitoes reached fever pitch.

While the mosquito’s ability to transmit deadly diseases has inspired significant concern and fear throughout human history, the struggle reached fever pitch in the mid-20th century.

In 1939, Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, better known as DDT, became known for its potent insecticidal properties. As the United States entered World War II, the Army promptly put it to use in the Mediterranean and South Pacific to stave off malaria, typhus, and other insect-borne diseases.

As the war came to a close, DDT was repackaged as a tool of American agriculture, marketed as a defense weapon for farms and homes.


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