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Biosecurity experts to rendezvous with home gardeners at festival

Released on

Released on:
Tuesday, 18. April 2017 - 10:00

Home gardeners wanting the latest information on problem plant pests and diseases can catch up with biosecurity experts at the upcoming Perth Garden Festival, from 27 to 30 April.

Biosecurity staff from the Department of Agriculture and Food will be available at the event to talk about a range of biosecurity matters including the tomato potato psyllid, European wasp and pest reporting tools.

Department senior researcher Darryl Hardie said officers were looking forward to meeting with home gardeners to discuss priority plant pests and show how they could support WA agricultural industries.

“Perth has recently had an incursion of the tomato potato psyllid, which attacks a range of vegetable crops,” Dr Hardie said.

“Home gardeners in Perth need to be aware that movement restrictions are in place for a range of vegetables, such as tomato, capsicum, chilli, eggplant and tamarillo, to help stop the spread of this pest.”

Dr Hardie said the department was also working hard with the community to stop the establishment of European wasps in Western Australia, through surveillance and control activities.

The department’s biosecurity display will include a European wasp nest, tomato potato psyllid surveillance traps and examples of pests to watch out for in the home and garden.

Department development officer Laura Fagan said an interactive iPad display featuring the MyPestGuide Reporter and MyWeedWatcher apps would demonstrate how the public can help report pests and weeds.

“These apps are free pest reporting tools developed for mobile devices, which let people take up to four photos of any animal, weed, insect or disease, and send it directly to the department,” Ms Fagan said.

“Department experts will identify the pest, reply back to your device with information on how to deal with the pest map it online, and share your learning with the community.”

Both apps are part of the Boosting Biosecurity Defences project made possible by Royalties for Regions.

The MyPestGuide Reporter app can be downloaded from the Google Play and Apple Store. People without a mobile device can make a pest report online.

More information on the Perth Garden Festival is available from perthgardenfestival.com.

Department of Agriculture and Food officers Laura Fagan and Rob Emery will be offering the latest biosecurity information and reporting tools for home gardeners at the 2017 Perth Garden Festival, running 27-30 April.

Department of Agriculture and Food officers Laura Fagan and Rob Emery will be offering the latest biosecurity information and reporting tools for home gardeners at the 2017 Perth Garden Festival, running 27-30 April.

Media contact: Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison    +61 (0)8 9368 3937