Tommy Doederlein, IPM Extension Agent for Dawson and Lynn Counties, set up an overwinter cage last fall with sugarcane aphids on Johnsongrass. The cage was located 5.9 miles NNE of Lamesa, Texas. Within the cage he placed two HOBO temperature data recorders. One recorder was placed on the soil surface and the other recorder was placed 2-3 inches below the soil surface.
On July 3rd, Doederlein went back to the cage and, to his surprise, found large numbers of sugarcane aphids infesting the Johnsongrass that had re-sprouted within the cage. Data from the temperature recorders showed that on the surface there had been 331 hrs with temperatures below 32 degrees fahrenheit.
The lowest temperature recorded was 16.3 degrees. The other recorder positioned 2-3 inches below the soil surface recorded 37 hrs of temperatures below 32 degrees fahrenheit and the lowest temperature was 30.07 degrees.
To date, the sugarcane aphids under this overwintering cage and a colony of aphids on Johnsongrass found by Dr. Pat Porter at Lubbock are the only confirmed reports of sugarcane aphids on the Texas High Plains.