Abstract The effect of insecticide resistance on the potential for control of stored product insect pests based on plant resistance was evaluated. Flours made from three rice cultivars (cvs.) that showed resistance or susceptibility to feeding by Tribolium castaneum were studied, using two strains, resistant and susceptible to the organophosphate insecticide, malathion. Flours made from rough, brown and milled rice were used to help identify the locus of any cultivar resistance mechanisms. The insect-resistant (Dawn) and moderately resistant (Lebonnet) cvs. had fewer eggs laid and caused greater mortality of the insects than the susceptible cultivar (cv.) (IR8). For all cvs., flour from brown rice was the most suitable for insect survival, whereas the highest larval weights were found in milled and the lowest in rough rice flours. On the other hand, the highest mortality of the susceptible strain occurred in milled rice flours. The larvae resistant to malathion survived significantly better than those of the susceptible strain, when fed on flour from the insect-resistant cv. (Dawn). The cause of this positive interaction between the insecticide resistance status of T. castaneum and the grain resistance is not known. The mechanism of malathion resistance occurring in this strain is enhanced malathion-specific carboxylesterase activity but it is not known how this can confer survival benefits, when the insect feeds on flour from the resistant cv. These results could have practical implications for the efficacy of stored product pest control using varietal resistance in situations where insecticide resistance is prevalent.