Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping is a valuable new tool for locating genomic regions that underlie variation in important traits such as insecticide resistance. Because QTL mapping complements a candidate gene strategy for understanding the genetic architecture of important traits, it may also facilitate the identification of genes causing important variation. After mapping the QTL locations, markers closely linked to QTL can be used for genetic analysis of population structure and to measure the spread and increase of resistance-causing QTL alleles. In this study, QTL influencing resistance to the pyrethroid insecticide esfenvalerate were mapped in the Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (CPB). Three QTL contributing to esfenvalerate resistance were identified from a mapping population of 79 individuals analyzed at 90 marker loci. One QTL had a large effect and two QTL had smaller effects. The major QTL occurs on the X chromosome, overlapping the position of a candidate gene (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Voltage sensitive sodium channel [LdVssc1]) previously implicated in pyrethroid resistance. Resistance-increasing alleles at the two minor-effect QTL originated with the susceptible parent, suggesting that alleles of small effect may be segregating in susceptible populations. Comparison of the New York population from which the susceptible parent originated with a more-susceptible population from North Carolina suggests that the minor-effect loci identified here may explain some of the variation in tolerance observed among susceptible populations. DNA sequencing of a portion of LdVssc1 shows that the resistance-conferring allele from the resistant parent does not contain the kdr mutation previously found in CPB and typically observed in other insects that are resistant to pyrethroid insecticides because of changes in this gene.