Pyridalyl is an insecticide that shows significant efficacy against Plutella xylostella, a notorious pest insect worldwide. In this study, we monitored resistance of P. xylostella to pyridalyl in China from 2016 to 2017, determined cross-resistance, inheritance, and synergism of pyridalyl resistance in two pyridalyl-resistant populations, one field-evolved resistant population (ZL-PR) and one laboratory-selected resistant population (XY-PR). We found that variation in susceptibility among 15 field populations in China from 2016 to 2017 was high, with mean LC50 values ranging from 1.839 to 1,652 mg/liter. The laboratory-selected XY-PR strain showed 31.3-fold resistance to pyridalyl and moderate cross-resistance to fipronil.The ZL-PR displayed 1,050.2-fold resistance to pyridalyl and high resistance to all tested insecticides. Genetic analysis illustrated that pyridalyl resistance in ZL-PR was autosomally inherited and incompletely recessive. However, pyridalyl resistance in the XY-PR strain was autosomally inherited but incompletely dominant. Moreover, piperonyl butoxide significantly inhibited pyridalyl resistance in the XY-PR strain. In conclusion, P. xylostella field populations from South China have high levels of resistance to pyridalyl and different modes of inheritance of resistance were found in XY-PR and ZL-PR. Moreover, enhanced oxidative metabolism is possibly involved in resistance of the XY-PR strain but not in the ZL-PR strain.