CMAVE is an internationally renowned research institution. Located on the campus of the University of Florida, it has more than 150 personnel, including nearly 50 doctoral level scientists. The Center began during the Second World War, in Orlando, as a unit tasked to develop methods for stopping the transmission of insect-borne diseases. Under the direction of Edward F. Knipling, it quickly demonstrated that the newly discovered DDT killed the lice that transmit typhus and the fleas that transmit plague. It has been said that this discovery saved the lives of more Allied troops and refugees during war than did penicillin. While it remains the only ARS laboratory studying mosquitoes, CMAVE now also does research directed at crop pests, including the identification of insect pheromones and attractants that can be used in traps, the production of genetically altered medflies for population eradication, the isolation of biological control agents for fire ants and crop pests, and the development of innovative methods of detecting pests in stored grain.