Exercises in Futility: Cases of Resistance

  • Andy Dyer


In this chapter, we will explore two particularly noteworthy examples of the problems created by resistance to synthetic pesticides, both drawn from the insect literature. The first example was selected because it was the first: the Clear Lake gnat, once a local problem that now epitomizes the speed of the resistance response. The second, the green peach aphid, was selected because of the scope and magnitude of the problem it presents, and because in some ways it represents the opposite end of the insecticide-resistance spectrum from the Clear Lake gnat, yet the end result is identical. Both cases are also good examples of humans learning important lessons but failing to make changes in response to those lessons. Perhaps these “exercises in futility” would be better described as insanity, which Albert Einstein defined as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”


Methyl Parathion Pest Species Green Peach Aphid Synthetic Pesticide Clear Lake 
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© Andy Dyer 2014

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  • Andy Dyer

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