Tomato potato psyllid (TPP)

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is working with WA's horticulture industry to combat the Tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli).

The damaging insect pest was detected in Western Australia for the first time in February 2017, prompting a comprehensive biosecurity response.  It had not previously been found in Australia.

TPP attacks a range of vegetable crops in the Solanaceae family including tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli, tamarillo and sweet potato.

Community support for TPP spring surveillance program

The Western Australian community has rallied to support spring surveillance efforts for the Tomato potato psyllid (TPP), with more than 1000 home gardeners taking part.

The spring surveillance program is now fully subscribed. The department thanks community members for their support. 

Surveillance trapping allows our department scientists to test TPP to see if they carry a damaging plant bacteria known as Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso). Neither the psyllid nor the bacteria pose a risk to human health.

A further round of surveillance will be undertaken in early 2018 in specific areas around the Perth metro area and adjoining shires.

TPP Quarantine Area

A Quarantine Area Notice is in effect for the Perth metropolitan area and surrounds to help minimise the spread of TPP in Western Australia. 

Commercial vegetable growers, the nursery industry and home gardeners are reminded of restrictions on the movement of host plants. 

National agreement on TPP management plan

National agreement has been reached on a management plan for TPP by federal and state governments, and the horticulture industry.

The Transition to Management Plan will improve the capacity of the horticulture sector to manage TPP, and build confidence around the status of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) associated with the psyllid.

Development of the Transition to Management Plan follows the National Management Group decision earlier this year that TPP is not technically feasible to eradicate, and efforts should focus on effective management.

The pysllid has had a significant impact on Western Australian growers, limiting interstate trade for a range of host or carrier plants and produce.

There have been no detections of CLso in Western Australia to date.

The plan outlines the following major activities:

  • targeted surveillance for TPP/CLso complex during Spring 2017 and Autumn 2018
  • scientific research to improve understanding of TPP, its biology and options for control.
  • management of TPP through the development of national and enterprise management plans
  • market access and trade.

Other states will also implement surveillance for the pest.


Page last updated: Thursday, 16 November 2017 - 9:45am