Tomato potato psyllid (TPP)

The Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) is working with the State’s horticulture industry on a management plan to combat tomato potato psyllid (TPP), following a national decision that it is not technically feasible to be eradicated.

The damaging insect pest was detected in Western Australia for the first time in February 2017, prompting a national biosecurity response.  It has 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.

A Quarantine Area Notice in Western Australia remains in place for the Perth metropolitan area and surrounds to help prevent the spread of the psyllid.

What DAFWA is doing

DAFWA is working with the State’s horticulture industry and national partners on a management plan to combat TPP, following a national decision that it cannot be eradicated in Western Australia.

The department has installed thousands of traps across regional and metropolitan areas on commercial and non-commercial properties to trap TPP for identification and testing.

During the next four weeks, department surveillance and diagnostic resources will be focused in the metropolitan Control Zone to further increase confidence levels that Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso), a bacteria which TPP can carry in their gut which is associated with the potato disease 'zebra chip', is not present in Western Australia.

Sticky traps have been installed on commercial and residential properties, with all TPP samples being tested for CLso. To date there has been no detection of CLso.

Moving forward, departmental surveillance activities will be scaled back during the cooler months when the psyllid is less active. Activities will recommence when weather conditions warm up in spring and there is increased TPP activity. Growers can still send suspect TPP samples to the department for laboratory testing.

Page last updated: Friday, 19 May 2017 - 3:35pm