Farm Management

Call for local residents to support response to new vegetable pest

The WA Department of Agriculture and Food is appealing to local residents to help protect WA’s horticulture industry by supporting surveillance efforts for the exotic pest, tomato potato psyllid.

Department Manjimup manager Ian Guthridge has encouraged residents in Manjimup, Pemberton, Walpole and surrounding areas to host a surveillance trap known as a ‘sticky trap’.

Tomato potato psyllid is a destructive insect pest which feeds on a range of plants, including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli, tamarillo and sweet potato.

The psyllid was confirmed in Perth in February 2017. The majority of detections have been in the metropolitan area, but there have been a small number of detections in regional areas including Busselton, Margaret River, Gingin and Yarloop.

Mr Guthridge said there was extensive surveillance underway by the department on commercial horticulture properties but residents were also urged to get involved.

“The support of residents is vital in helping to protect and support local vegetable growers,” Mr Guthridge said.

“By placing a sticky trap on their property, local residents can help the department to identify whether the psyllid is present within the region.

“We are asking people to collect a trap and host it on their property, then return the trap seven days later in sealed plastic bags provided.”

Where the psyllid is detected on residential properties, there are a number of treatment options to control the pest. Vegetables and plant material should not be moved from the property.

Sticky Trap Packs with set up instructions can be collected and returned to:

  • Manjimup Shire Office
  • Bridgetown Shire Office
  • Nannup Shire Office
  • Walpole Community Resource Centre
  • Northcliffe Community Resource Centre
  • Pemberton Community Resource Centre

Mr Guthridge acknowledged local commercial growers for their support of the department’s tomato potato psyllid surveillance and control activities.

He also commended local shires and resource centres which were making sticky traps available at their offices.

Local residents interested in hosting a sticky trap can call the department’s Manjimup office on 9777 0000.

More than 1500 sticky traps have been installed on properties across regional and metropolitan areas of WA as part of the department’s response to this pest.

More information on the tomato potato psyllid response in Western Australia is available on the department’s website.

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