Chinch Bug (Kansas Sorghum)

Scouting time

Most problems in sorghum occur when large groups of immature, wingless nymphs migrate from maturing wheat fields and invade adjacent sorghum fields where they may complete development. Chinch bugs usually increase in dry periods and decline during wetter years.Growers should continue to monitor for chinch bug activity each spring, especially when moisture is limited during April, May, and June and nearby wheat is thin and lacking in vigor. In 2014, chinch bug infestations continued into mid-October and consisted of both adults and nymphs, especially on later planted (double cropped) sorghum. These late season populations may lead to significant spring populations in sorghum. High chinch bug densities in early spring, coupled with dry conditions, may result in damaged wheat stands.

Sampling method

None listed.


Seedling sorghum is most vulnerable, and seven to 10 bugs per plant will cause stunting, poor root development and stand reduction. Larger plants can tolerate more bugs, but severe infestations can cause stunting, lodging, and yield loss.

Using seed treatments: clothianidin (Poncho), imidacloprid (numerous products) and thiamethoxam (Cruiser) at planting can decrease chinch bug damage. These treatments work well initially, but wear off in a few weeks. Growers should be aware of this problem and use followup sprays on border rows if protection wears off before the end of chinch bug migration.

Chemical control

Chinch Bug Management Options (Foliar Treatments)



Alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac EC)

 3.2 to 3.9 fl. oz./acre

Beta-cyfluthrin (Baythroid XL)

 0.019 to 0.022 lbs. a.i./acre (2.0 to 2.8 fl. oz.)

Carbaryl (Sevin)

 1.5 to 2 lb. a.i./acre

Chlorpyrifos (Numerous products)

 Check label, but generally 1 to 2 pints/acre.

Chlorpyrifos (Saurus)

 8 oz./1,000 row ft. - T-band at planting

Chlorpyrifos plus gamma-cyhalothrin (Cobalt Advanced)

 11.0 to 38.0 fl. oz. of product/acre

Chlorpyrifos plus zeta-cypermethrin (Stallion)

 9.25 to 11.75 fl. oz./acre

Deltamethrin (Delta Gold)

 0.015 to 0.022 lb. a.i./acre (1.3 to 1.9 fl. oz.)

Esfenvalerate (Asana XL 0.66)

 0.03 to 0.05 lb. a.i./acre (5.8 to 9.6 fl. oz.)

Gamma-cyhalothrin (Proaxis)

 0.015 lb. a.i./acre (3.84 fl. oz.)

Lambda-cyhalothrin (numerous products)

 0.03 lb. of a.i./acre

Zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang MAXX, Respect EC, etc.)

 0.02 to 0.025 lb. a.i./acre (3.2 to 4.0 fl. oz.)


Non-chemical controls


Content authors


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