Monitoring for organophosphate and carbamate resistance was carried out on five major insect pests of cotton collected from 22 cotton-growing districts across India. Resistance was monitored in Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) and Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders) for the period 1995–1999 and for Spodoptera litura (Fabricius), Earias vittella (Fabricius) and Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) in a survey conducted during the 1997–98 cropping season. Of the 53 field strains of H. armigera, only four were found to exhibit resistance to quinalphos, the highest 15-fold, whereas all 16 field strains tested were found to be resistant to monocrotophos. Similarly, out of 40 field strains tested, only eight were found to express appreciable resistance to methomyl. Resistance in P. gossypiella to quinalphos was high in the majority of the strains tested. Of the seven strains of E. vittella tested, two strains from northern India exhibited > 70-fold resistance to monocrotophos. Of the 11 S. litura strains tested, only four were found to exhibit resistance factors of 10 to 30-fold to quinalphos and monocrotophos. All of the B. tabaci field strains exhibited resistance to methomyl and monocrotophos and susceptibility to triazophos. Practical implications for pest control resulting from the observed patterns of cross-resistance between quinalphos, monocrotophos and methomyl are discussed.