Agricultural use of insecticides is involved in the selection of resistance to these compounds in field populations of mosquitoes in Burkina Faso. Anopheles gambiae s.l. was resistant to permethrin and DDT in cotton-growing and urban areas, but susceptible in areas with limited insecticide selection pressure (rice fields and control areas). Nevertheless, resistance to these insecticides was observed in a village on the outskirts of the rice fields at the end of the rainy season, suggesting that the latter population of mosquitoes had migrated from the surrounding cotton villages into the rice fields. A seasonal variation of resistance observed in the cotton-growing area is related to the distribution of the molecular M and S forms of An. gambiae, since resistance to pyrethroids has so far only been reported in the S form. Pyrethroid resistance in west African An. gambiae was conferred by target site insensitivity through a knockdown resistance (kdr)-like mutation, which was present at high frequencies in mosquitoes in the cotton-growing and urban areas.