Our team has been scouting sorghum for sugarcane aphid in Isle of Wight, Southampton, Suffolk, and Sussex counties, but we have not detected them yet this season. They have been found in North Carolina, and with their ability to spread and reproduce rapidly, we recommend starting to scout sorghum for this pest.
There are several aphid species that can be found in sorghum, but sugarcane aphids are cream yellow in color with two, short dark cornicles (“tailpipes”) on their hind end. Start weekly scouting at the field edges, especially checking the underside of lower leaves. Once insects are found, scouting should be conducted at shorter intervals to actively monitor population growth. Dr. Dominic Reisig, Extension Entomologist at North Carolina State University, provides these thresholds for sugarcane aphid.
When pesticides are needed, we recommend Sivanto (which has a FIFRA Section 2(ee) Recommendation for a reduced rate of 4-7 oz/A, including Virginia), or Transform WG (which is registered under a Section 18 emergency exemption for Virginia at a rate of 0.75-1.5 oz/A). Good coverage is essential. Please refer to (and follow!) the labels for more details, including the maximum amount that can be applied annually, pre-harvest intervals, etc. Repeat applications, when needed, should rotate active ingredients. Pyrethroids are not recommended.