Plant Health Program, Doctor of


First Advisor

Gary L. Hein

Document Type

Doctoral Document

Date of this Version



Nikodym, J. 2021. Perspectives on Insecticide Resistance Management: Past, Present, and Future. Doctor of Plant Health Doctoral Document. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A Doctoral Document Presented to the Faculty of The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Plant Health, Major: Doctor of Plant Health, Under the Supervision of Professor Gary L. Hein, Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2021

Copyright © 2021 Jacob E. Nikodym


The use of chemical products to control arthropod pests has occurred for thousands of years, beginning with the use of inorganic products in ancient cultures, and progressing to the development of synthetic insecticides beginning in the early 20th century. As these chemicals have imposed selection pressure on insects, the insects have adapted to this pressure, leading to the development of insecticide resistance. Since it was first reported in 1914, insecticide resistance has grown to be a major concern facing agricultural production, as each insecticide chemistry introduced is impacted by the evolution of resistance.

In the latter half of the 20th century, renewed focus was placed on non-chemical pest management practices and their use in Integrated Pest Management programs to help improve the sustainability of insect pest management and slow the development of insecticide resistance. New insect management products such as plants modified to express Plant Incorporated Protectants (PIPs) provided new options to producers who were interested in diversifying their management strategies, but they brought with them resistance management challenges of their own. To maintain the utility of insecticides for insect pest management, it is necessary to take steps to utilize effective Insecticide Resistance Management, through measures like rotating insecticide modes of action, utilizing resistant plants, planning planting and harvests to minimize pest pressure, and many others. These tactics will continue to be necessary in the future but increasing emphasis on tactics such as areawide pest management and research into insect tolerant plant varieties will further help to reduce the pressure placed on insecticides in pest control. Research into the basis of resistance in insects will help inform decisions regarding resistance management approaches that may be effective. New technologies for PIPs such as RNAi can help to diversify the products available to producers and potentially help to increase the efficacy of tactics already in use. The future of Insecticide Resistance Management will require integrated, research-based solutions to maintain the sustainability of insect management.

Advisor: Gary L. Hein

Included in

Entomology Commons