Breeding for resistance to insects and other arthropod pests in vegetables has been a difficult endeavor. Greater public awareness of health and environmental issues requires that we as horticultural scientists reexamine why breeding for resistance has been difficult. The literature clearly suggests the potential for a genetic solution, and the literature also reveals some reasons why achievement of genetic resistance to arthropod pests has not been as successful as the achievement of resistance to pathogens. The thesis of my presentation is that the complexity of plant-arthropod interactions often prevents simple genetic approaches to breeding for resistance. Data using Lycopersicon hirsutum and its interaction with spider mites will provide examples of the these complex interactions. L. hirsutum is a wild relative of L. esculentum, the common tomato, and is nearly immune to insect attack. However, there are few or no clear examples of this taxa contributing to the insect resistance of tomato. The complexity of the interaction between mites and trichomes on L. hirsutum will be highlighted as it pertains to environment and genetics of the plant, and the development of the arthropod.