Pesticide resistance

resistanceherbicide resistanceresistantherbicide resistantherbicide-resistantresistance to pesticidesinsecticide resistanceresistance to DDTherbicideimmunity
Pesticide resistance describes the decreased susceptibility of a pest population to a pesticide that was previously effective at controlling the pest.wikipedia
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The Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) definition of insecticide resistance is 'a heritable change in the sensitivity of a pest population that is reflected in the repeated failure of a product to achieve the expected level of control when used according to the label recommendation for that pest species'.
The technique is expected to replace many other insecticides, which are losing effectiveness due to the spread of pesticide resistance.


pesticidescrop sprayingchemical pesticides
Pesticide resistance describes the decreased susceptibility of a pest population to a pesticide that was previously effective at controlling the pest.
DDT use is not always effective, as resistance to DDT was identified in Africa as early as 1955, and by 1972 nineteen species of mosquito worldwide were resistant to DDT.

Natural selection

Pest species evolve pesticide resistance via natural selection: the most resistant specimens survive and pass on their acquired heritable changes traits to their offspring.
A similar situation occurs with pesticide resistance in plants and insects.


herbicidesherbicidalweed killer
As of 2014, few new weed killers are near commercialization, and none with a novel, resistance-free mode of action. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates different classes of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides.
Due to herbicide resistance - a major concern in agriculture - a number of products combine herbicides with different means of action.

Integrated pest management

IPMgreen pesticideeconomic levels
Integrated pest management (IPM) approach provides a balanced approach to minimizing resistance.
Acceptable pest levels—The emphasis is on control, not eradication. IPM holds that wiping out an entire pest population is often impossible, and the attempt can be expensive and unsafe. IPM programmes first work to establish acceptable pest levels, called action thresholds, and apply controls if those thresholds are crossed. These thresholds are pest and site specific, meaning that it may be acceptable at one site to have a weed such as white clover, but not at another site. Allowing a pest population to survive at a reasonable threshold reduces selection pressure. This lowers the rate at which a pest develops resistance to a control, because if almost all pests are killed then those that have resistance will provide the genetic basis of the future population. Retaining a significant number of unresistant specimens dilutes the prevalence of any resistant genes that appear. Similarly, the repeated use of a single class of controls will create pest populations that are more resistant to that class, whereas alternating among classes helps prevent this.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates different classes of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides.
Pathogens respond to the use of fungicides by evolving resistance.

Amaranthus palmeri

Pigweedsouthwestern pigweedcarelessweed
In the southern United States, Amaranthus palmeri, which interferes with cotton production, has evolved resistance to the herbicide glyphosate.
In many places, the plant has developed resistance since at least 2006 to glyphosate, a widely used broad-spectrum herbicide.

Diamondback moth

Diamondback mothsPlutella xylostella(''Plutella xylostella'')
In Hawaii, Japan and Tennessee, the diamondback moth evolved a resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis about three years after it began to be used heavily.
The agriculture industry has been trying to find biological and natural ways to eliminate the diamondback moth especially since the moths have become resistant to pesticides.

Colorado potato beetle

potato beetleColorado beetlespotato beetles
The Colorado potato beetle has evolved resistance to 52 different compounds belonging to all major insecticide classes. Resistance levels vary across populations and between beetle life stages, but in some cases can be very high (up to 2,000-fold).
However, many chemicals are often unsuccessful when used against this pest because of the beetle's ability to rapidly develop insecticide resistance.

Vavilovian mimicry

secondary cropmimicVavilovian
Vavilovian mimicry
Similar situations include antibiotic resistance and, of similar nature to crop mimicry, herbicide resistance.

Bacillus thuringiensis

BtB. thuringiensisB . thuringiensis
In Hawaii, Japan and Tennessee, the diamondback moth evolved a resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis about three years after it began to be used heavily. With the introduction of every new insecticide class – cyclodienes, carbamates, formamidines, organophosphates, pyrethroids, even Bacillus thuringiensis – cases of resistance surfaced within two to 20 years.
In November 2009, Monsanto scientists found the pink bollworm had become resistant to the first-generation Bt cotton in parts of Gujarat, India - that generation expresses one Bt gene, Cry1Ac.

Genetically modified crops

genetically modifiedtransgenic planttransgenic plants
Glyphosate-tolerant transgenic crops are not affected.
These traits include improved shelf life, disease resistance, stress resistance, herbicide resistance, pest resistance, production of useful goods such as biofuel or drugs, and ability to absorb toxins and for use in bioremediation of pollution.


cerebral malariamalarial fevermalarial
DDT is no longer effective in preventing malaria in some places.
In time, pest control, rather than disease control, came to dominate DDT use, and this large-scale agricultural use led to the evolution of resistant mosquitoes in many regions.


cross resistance
Cross-resistance, a related phenomenon, occurs when the genetic mutation that made the pest resistant to one pesticide also makes it resistant to others, often those with a similar mechanism of action.
Pesticide resistance

Genetically modified food controversies

controversiespublic concernsgenetically modified food
The key areas of controversy related to genetically modified food (GM food or GMO food) are whether such food should be labeled, the role of government regulators, the objectivity of scientific research and publication, the effect of genetically modified crops on health and the environment, the effect on pesticide resistance, the impact of such crops for farmers, and the role of the crops in feeding the world population.

Pesticide research

Obstacles include increasing pesticide resistance and an increasingly stringent regulatory environment.

Spider mite

spider mitesTetranychidaeSpider mite (Tetranychidae)
This accelerated reproductive rate allows spider mite populations to adapt quickly to resist pesticides, so chemical control methods can become somewhat ineffectual when the same pesticide is used over a prolonged period.

Gene drive

CRISPR-Cas9inheritablegene drives
Applications include exterminating insects that carry pathogens (notably mosquitoes that transmit malaria, dengue, and zika pathogens), controlling invasive species or eliminating herbicide or pesticide resistance.

Bed bug control techniques

eradicating bed bugsbed bug eradicationexterminator
Though commonly used, the pesticide approach often requires multiple visits and may not always be effective due to pesticide resistance and dispersal of the bed bugs.

Bed bug

bedbugbed bug infestationBed-Bug
The exact causes of this increase is unclear; with proposals including greater travel, more frequent exchange of second-hand furnishings, a greater focus on control of other pests, and increasing resistance to pesticides.

Indoor residual spraying

indoor DDT spraying
3) The targeted vectors must be susceptible (i.e. not resistant) to the insecticide being sprayed.

Phenylpyrazole insecticides

Phenylpyrazole insecticides were developed in response to increasing pesticide resistance to other chemicals.


feral animalstrayferal dogs
Feral populations of crop plants, along with hybridization between crop plants and their wild relatives, brings a risk that genetically engineered characteristics such as pesticide resistance could be transferred to weed plants.

Cynosurus echinatus

An herbicide-resistant strain can be found growing as a weed in canola and wheat fields in Chile.

Climate change and agriculture

fertilisation effectfood productionagriculture
Many pest insects have been building up an immunity to these pesticides.