Pyrethroid resistance in Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) field populations was investigated in Benin over several years by using third- and fourth-instar larval topical bioassays. H. armigera was resistant to pyrethroids tested as cypermethrin, deltamethrin, bifenthrin, and fenvalerate. Pretreatment with piperonyl butoxide significantly decreased the LD 50 value of cypermethrin and deltamethrin, and the resistance suppression by this synergist effect was observed. No significant decrease in the LD 50 value was obtained when S, S, S-tributyl phosphoro-trithioate was applied before deltamethrin. In the field, cypermethrin’s LD 50 value varied, and the highest LD 50 values were observed during the rainy season, the cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., crop period, when pyrethroids are extensively used. In the dry season when there was no cotton cultivation, the lowest LD 50 values were obtained. However, reversion was never total in the field; resistance did not revert to the level we observed in the susceptible strain. In the laboratory, when field populations were reared in insecticide-free conditions, resistance decreased and total reversion was observed. Results are discussed with regard to insecticide resistance fitness cost and resistance management strategies.

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