Carabooda and Yanchep part of quarantine area

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Commercial vegetable producers and backyard growers are urged to check for signs of the tomato potato psyllid. Picture: DAFWA

CARABOODA and Yanchep growers of plants in the Solanaceae family are part of a quarantine area in place to stop the spread of tomato potato psyllid out of the metropolitan area.

All metropolitan growers including commercial and backyard growers of plants in the Solanaceae family including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli and tamarillo, along with sweet potato are affected.

The Shire of Gingin, however, is not part of the quarantine area.

This week the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia was also reminding people to check their backyard vegetable crops for the tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) following further detections of the exotic pest in Perth.

Nine residential properties and one commercial property have been confirmed to have the pest.

It has not been found outside of the metropolitan area to date.

Department chief plant biosecurity officer John van Schagen said the pest was a serious pest of plants in the Solanaceae family.

“In addition to current surveillance and movement restrictions on affected properties, a Quarantine Area Notice is now in place for the Perth area, to prevent the spread of tomato potato psyllid to other parts of the State,” he said.

“The quarantine area extends to include Wanneroo in the north, Serpentine-Jarrahdale in the south and Mundaring in the east.

“It applies to the movement of tomato potato psyllid hosts, such as seedlings and fruit of potato, tomato, pepper, paprika, capsicum, chilli, eggplant, and sweet potato.

“The notice requires treatment or certification of host material and potential carriers before movement outside of this specified area.”

Mr van Schagen said the department was working closely with the WA industry on efforts to minimise the impact of the pest on industry.

This is the first time the psyllid, which is significant production pest in other countries where it is present, including the USA, Central America and New Zealand, has been detected in Australia.

He said department staff to search for the pest across metropolitan and regional areas.

Commercial vegetable producers and backyard growers are urged to check for signs of the psyllid and report any unusual detections to the department’s MyPestGuide Reporter app.

“The use of this app leads to detections which provide critical information to assist in locating this pest,” he said.

Reporting options are also available on the department website or by contacting the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service info@agric.wa.gov.au or call 1800 084 881.

More information, including how to look for and report the pest, and more detail on the Quarantine Area Notice, is available on the department website.