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Exposure of nontarget populations to agricultural chemicals is an important aspect of global change. We quantified the capacity of natural Daphnia magna populations to locally adapt to insecticide exposure through a selection experiment involving carbaryl exposure and a control. Carbaryl tolerance after selection under carbaryl exposure did not increase significantly compared to the tolerance of the original field populations. However, there was evolution of a decreased tolerance in the control experimental populations compared to the original field populations. The magnitude of this decrease was positively correlated with land use intensity in the neighbourhood of the ponds from which the original populations were sampled. The genetic change in carbaryl tolerance in the control rather than in the carbaryl treatment suggests widespread selection for insecticide tolerance in the field associated with land use intensity and suggests that this evolution comes at a cost. Our data suggest a strong impact of current agricultural land use on nontarget natural Daphnia populations.