1. Resistance of some populations of the Simulium damnosum complex to temephos (100-fold at the LC50 level), with degrees of cross-resistance to chlorphoxim (14-fold) and other organophosphate insecticides, follows intensive larvicidal control of S. damnosum s.l. in West African river systems since 1975 by the WHO Onchocerciasis Control Programme. 2. Larvae of at least three sibling species of the S. damnosum complex have become organophosphate-resistant: these are the forest species S. sanctipauli Vajime & Dunbar and the savanna species S. sirbanum V. & D. and S. damnosum Theobald sensu stricto. 3. Organophosphate-resistant S. damnosum s.l. larvae show increased susceptibility to some organochlorine and pyrethroid insecticides, especially to permethrin (up to 11-fold) and OMS 3002 (up to 17-fold), as compared with organophosphate-susceptible populations. 4. This differential susceptibility is reflected by increased pyrethroid efficacy in operational use for river treatments against organophosphate-resistant field populations of S. damnosum s.l. larvae. Treatment of 100 km of the lower Bandama River in 1985 showed that permethrin at the highly selective dosage of 10 min exposure to 0.01 mg/l caused reversion towards organophosphate-susceptibility of the target population of S. sanctipauli. This effect was less pronounced when the Comoe River was treated at the lower dosage of 0.005 mg/l for 10 min. 5. To overcome temephos-resistance, it is proposed that the most rational usage of currently available larvicides would involve the following annual sequence of treatments: Bacillus thuringiensis serotype H-14 when river discharge is below 75 m3/s; chlorphoxim for about eight weekly treatment cycles after river discharge rises; permethrin (or alternative pyrethroid) for up to six treatment cycles--this should eliminate any incipient selection for chlorphoxim-resistance; resume chlorphoxim (or perhaps carbosulfan) treatments until river discharge falls below 75 m3/s permitting resumed use of B.t. H-14.