The Department of Agriculture and Food has called on South West residents to support local horticulture industries by helping trap and report the exotic insect pest, tomato potato psyllid.
Southern Regional Manager Neil Guise said residents and home gardeners could boost surveillance efforts by hosting a ‘sticky trap’ on their properties.
Tomato potato psyllid is a destructive insect pest which feeds on a range of plants including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli, tamarillo and sweet potato.
The psyllid was first detected in the Perth metropolitan area last month and has now been confirmed on more than 50 commercial and residential properties. It has been detected on five properties in the Yarloop, Busselton and Margaret River areas.
Mr Guise said the department was conducting extensive surveillance and monitoring on commercial horticulture properties, and was looking to the community to increase trapping for the psyllid in residential areas.
“About 1500 sticky traps have been installed on properties across regional and metropolitan areas of the State, with more than 500 in the South West as part of the department’s response to this pest,” Mr Guise said.
“Getting the community involved will be a tremendous help in determining the spread of psyllid in the region and is a positive way of supporting our local vegetable growers and industry.
“We are asking people to collect a sticky trap, place it on their property for seven days and then return it in the provided sealed plastic bag.
“The department can then confirm if the psyllid is present at that location.”
Where the psyllid is detected on residential properties, there are a number of treatment options to control the pest. Vegetables and plant material should not be moved from the property.
Sticky trap packs with set up instructions can be collected and returned to:
- Department of Agriculture and Food Bunbury office
- Donnybrook Shire offices
- Capel Shire offices
- Collie Shire offices
- Eaton and Dardanup offices of the Shire of Dardanup
- Australind and Harvey offices of the Shire of Harvey
- Augusta and Margaret River offices of the Shire of Augusta Margaret River
- Busselton Shire offices
Mr Guise acknowledged local commercial growers for their cooperation and support of the department’s tomato potato psyllid response and participating local shires administering the sticky traps from their offices.
Local residents interested in hosting a sticky trap can call the department’s Bunbury office on (08) 9780 6100.
More information on the tomato potato psyllid response in Western Australia is available on the department’s website agric.wa.gov.au/tpp.
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison+61 (0)8 9368 3230/3325