Malathion is an organophosphate insecticide that is used for the control of adult mosquitoes and agricultural pests. Recent studies have shown that malathion affects competition among mosquitoes in the larval stage. Individuals from laboratory colonies are often used in experiments but it is not known whether there is a difference between laboratory and field strains in their response to competition and malathion. Intraspecific larval competition in the presence of malathion (0.11 mg/liter) was compared between laboratory and field strains of Aedes albopictus (Skuse), a native of Asia that has established in the United States. There was no difference in the responses of the two strains to the presence of malathion. The fitness (finite growth rate) of the field strain decreased at the highest larval density tested but there was no difference in fitness across densities for the laboratory strain. This finding suggests that laboratory rearing could reduce sensitivity to crowding.