The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) is working with the WA horticulture industry to respond to the detection of tomato potato psyllid, an exotic plant pest.
This is the first time the psyllid has been detected in Australia.
Tomato potato psyllid attacks a range of plants including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli, tamarillo, cape gooseberry, goji berry, and sweet potato. The weeds nightshade, groundcherry, African boxthorn, kangaroo apple and field bindweed are also hosts of the pest.
You can help to determine the spread of the pest by checking your plants and immediately reporting any suspect detections.
You can do this via the free MyPestGuide Reporter app, which is available from the Google Play or the App Store. Alternatively, you can email photos with your name, address and mobile number to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881.
About the tomato potato psyllid and what to look for
The tomato potato psyllid is a tiny sap-sucking insect with three stages of development – egg, nymph and adult. Adults and nymphs of tomato potato psyllid cause injury to plants by feeding with sucking mouth parts.
Signs of tomato potato psyllid include:
- Insects jumping from the foliage when disturbed.
- White sugar-like granules which coat the plant leaves and stems, and can lead to the development of sooty mould.
- Yellowing of leaf margins and upward curling of the leaves.
- Severe wilting of plants caused by high numbers of psyllids feeding.
- Shortening of stem internodes.
- Stem death similar to other potato and tomato disorders.
Quarantine Area Notice
A Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) is in place to direct the movement and treatment of specified fruit, vegetables and seedlings to contain and control the pest.
The QAN divides Western Australia into three quarantine zones — a Control (red) Zone, Suppression (orange) Zone and Watch (blue) Zone. To find out how you might be affected, and for additional general information, visit www.agric.wa.gov.au/tpp