Calling volunteer trappers in Darwin and Palmerston

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The Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) is an exotic plant pest that attacks a range of plants, including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli, tamarillo and sweet potato.

It also provides a pathway for the bacteria, Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLSO), which cause Zebra chip disease and psyllid yellows. In 2017, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia (DPIRD WA), detected TPP in their state. Since then, there has been considerable work to manage this pest to support domestic trade.

DPIRD WA is leading a nation-wide project to improve early detection and reporting of TPP across Australia. Industry and commercial producers are urged to check crops for signs, however backyard growers in the Territory can also become ‘trappers’ for the program by collecting information on the pest.

In addition to TPP, this project will actively trap for Asian citrus psyllid, which attacks citrus plants, curry leaf trees and Orange Jasmin plants. This pest has not been recorded in Australia previously but has been detected in nearby countries. Therefore, the trapping program will provide important information on whether the pest remains absent from Australia.

Trapping is scheduled for two seasons each year between 2020 and 2022. A season lasts for four weeks. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions the two trapping seasons have been rescheduled and will now run from late July to mid-September.

Each ‘trapper’ will be asked to install the MyPestGuideTM Reporter app at the beginning of trapping period. Information captured through this app will be analysed by the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) in the NT, who will forward this information on to DPIRD WA for capture in a national database. Each trapper will receive TPP traps, a tomato plant and a set of straightforward instructions. Those with a citrus plant(s) in their garden will also be asked to trap for Asian citrus psyllid, which will require an additional set of traps containing a specific lure for trapping this pest. We will provide these traps as well. Prepaid envelopes, for returning traps, will be provided with information on how to use these envelopes in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.

At the end of the project, trappers will be informed about the results obtained from their property. All information will contribute towards declaring the Northern Territory free of TPP and CLSO. Trappers will also get to keep the tomato plant they received with the TPP trap.

Register to become a volunteer

If you are interested in participating in this program:

  1. Read the information page.
  2. Register online.

For more information

Contact the DPIR Entomology team on 8999 2259 if you require more information.

2020 is the International Year of Plant Health. Help us protect plants by reporting anything suspicious to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881.

tomato potato psyllid

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