Texas LRGV IPM: Whiteflies, Fleahoppers, and Sugarcane Aphids on the Rise

    General Situation

    Was a muddy week with the first half of the week being rained out of fields and barely getting in them to scout yesterday and today.

    I know over the weekend a lot of the Valley received anywhere from 1 to 2 inches of rain and then the 1st of June on Monday we received another 1 to 2 inches along the river, Weslaco, Donna, Pharr, La Feria areas and the rest of the Valley got about an inch of rain or close.

    Where cotton fields were drying up saw many growers applying growth regulators to their cotton this week since the rains really made some cotton take off in height.


    Same thing this week in cotton as whiteflies are building up fast along the river and growers are fixing to spray for whiteflies this weekend into next as soon as it dries up enough to get in the fields. Whiteflies were also increasing in the Mid Valley as well.

    AgFax Weed Solutions

    Fleahoppers were more present in the mid Valley this week, we found several adults and a lot of nymphs present in that area as there must have just been a recent hatch.

    Those with cotton still squaring who have not applied an application for fleahoppers might need to get into their cotton and look and see if one is necessary because we were picking up on several in that area between La Villa, Lyford, and Raymondville but majority of cotton is past squaring and has put on its bolls. We did see some cotton fields shedding bolls this week that it will not carry to harvest.

    We saw a little bit of cotton aphid activity but nothing significant.

    Grain Sorghum

    Please check your grain sorghum. Yesterday and today I was looking at sorghum that should have been harvested its just we’ve been rained out and I found a second wave of sugarcane aphids infesting the green leaves and in some fields they were building up so fast they were already migrating to the head and starting to gum it up with their honeydew secretions.

    I was scouting and seeing high sugarcane aphid populations in the La Villa, Lyford, Raymondville, Sebastian, and Harlingen areas. There were a lot of fields with leaves glistening and getting sticky from all the honey dew and when I would lift up the leaves, they were just loaded with sugarcane aphids.

    Many alates were flying into fields and laying live young (we were finding about 40 alates per flag leaf, I couldn’t believe it so many). It is Imperative the you check your fields to see if you have a lot of honey dew present so that way you can make a decision whether it will be beneficial for you to spray to keep combine machinery from getting clogged and breaking down.

    Majority of sorghum is mature, and a lot of fields have already been sprayed with glyphosate but there are some that have not been sprayed and populations have built up rapidly with sugarcane aphids this last week (5-7 days).

    With the high heat and the recent rains it has created a perfect environment for these sugarcane aphids to reproduce quickly and they are only going to continue to go up in numbers as next week we are looking at temperatures in the 100s. So please go check your sorghum, especially if your leaves are still green because more than likely you have a new brood of sugarcane aphids present.

    Some might need to spray Sulfloxafor (Transform) at 0.75oz/acre added with the glyphosate to suppress those aphids that have traveled up to the head. Remember the Preharvest Interval for Sulfloxafor: Do not apply within 14 days for grain or straw harvest or within 7 days of grazing, forage, fodder, or hay harvest.

    If you have later planted sorghum in soft dough or barely in hard dough stage you can use Flupyradifurone (Sivanto), its Foliar Application Restrictions: Pre-Harvest Interval (PHI): 21 days – dried grain, stover or straw.

    Pay attention to your label and to rates. I did find some alates laying baby sugarcane aphids on seedling sorghum along with one fall armyworm per seedling sorghum in the Sebastian area as well.


    Sesame was pretty clean this week as we saw some honeybees pollinating on the lavender blooms of the sesame.

    We did see some whiteflies on the bottom foliage but they tend to not get out of hand on sesame and we did pick up on a couple of mirids and they like to eat whiteflies so its good to leave whitefly populations alone so that way if mirids will have food to eat instead of feeding on the sesame plant.

    We also saw a couple of corn earworms on a couple of sesame pods but other than that very clean week for sesame throughout the Valley.

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