Tomato potato psyllid found in Gingin

The quarantine area set up to help prevent the spread of the tomato potato psyllid may be extended after the pest was found in regional areas, including Gingin.

THE Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia has confirmed further detections of the tomato potato psyllid including in Gingin.

Yanchep News Online understands the tomato potato psyllid has also been found in Neerabup.

On Sunday, March 5 the department’s industry update said there had been 43 detections of the tomato potato psyllid, including at 20 commercial properties.

Three of the new detections are in regional areas, including Gingin, Busselton and Yarloop.

The detections were made in commercial capsicum, eggplant and potato crops.

The department said new detections of the insect pest included commercial and backyard vegetable crops, a commercial nursery, and on seedlings at three retail outlets.

The department said it had moved quickly to restrict the movement of the host plants and any associated material, such as horticultural equipment, from the premises.

Department chief plant biosecurity officer John van Schagen said the department was tracing the recent movement of seedlings as a priority.

Tomato potato psyllid is an emergency plant pest, impacting Solanaceae plants including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli and tamarillos – it also attacks sweet potato.

“The department is continuing surveillance to determine the spread of the pest, with more than 150 commercial properties inspected across the metropolitan and regional areas to date,” he said.

“Community reports are also being provided to the department via the MyPestGuide Reporter app.

“We are continuing to urge growers, both commercial and backyard, to check their crops and report suspect finds to the department.”

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

The latest detections follow the introduction of a Quarantine Area Notice across the entire metropolitan area to help prevent the spread of the pest.

The psyllid has not been detected in other regional areas.

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