NRL developed a thin surface film that prevents mosquitos in the pupal and larval stages from attaching to the water's surface where they breathe and feed. This causes them to drown, thus killing by physical, not toxic, means. No pesticide is required nor is a petroleum-based solvent needed to deliver the compound. The method has proven effective against mosquito genera that are carriers of debilitating tropical diseases, including malaria, encephalitis, and dengue fever.
In 1984, the nontoxic mosquito-control substance gained Environmental Protection Agency approval and is currently being manufactured by a chemical company under license from a U.S. Navy patent on this invention. The substance is now commercially available to mosquito control districts across the U.S.