Tips to discover hidden garden pests

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DPIRD officer Linda Ford provides information on potential agricultural pests which could be lurking in home gardens. Picture: DPIRD

YANCHEP and Gingin home gardeners can learn how to find damaging pests which may be hiding in their gardens at one of the state’s biggest garden and outdoor events between April 12-15.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development staff will be on hand at this year’s Perth Garden Festival to raise awareness of the importance of garden biosecurity and advise gardeners what they can do to help combat hidden insect pests.

Visitors to the department display will be informed on how simply checking their plants, gardens and any newly purchased plants is the first step in helping to prevent the spread of destructive pests.

Department development officer Laura Fagan said checking plants and then reporting any pests to the department improved the chance of finding damaging pests hidden in backyards.

Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) and Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) are both examples of pests that can easily hide in backyard gardens, which could affect the state’s agricultural industries.

“All members of the community can play a part in keeping the State free of many of the damaging pests found in other parts of Australia,” she said.

“Festival-goers will be provided with information on how to download and use a smartphone app created by the department to help community members report suspect pests.

“The MyPestGuideTM Reporter app is an easy way for people to actively get involved and undertake inspections while in their gardens.

“It is important to report all interesting, unusual and common insects to not only prevent the spread of harmful pests, but also support claims that a particular area is free of an exotic pest.

“Knowing that hidden pests may live in a garden will not only help home owners to eradicate them but will also alert the department to any unwanted pest that could affect Western Australian agriculture.”