- Tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli), has been detected on 24 properties across the Perth metropolitan area, including six commercial horticulture properties, and in seedlings at three retail outlets.
- The new detections are as a result of surveillance activities by the Department of Agriculture and Food.
- All detections are within the Perth metropolitan Quarantine Area.
The Quarantine Area extends to include Wanneroo in the north, Serpentine-Jarrahdale in the south and Mundaring in the east (see quarantine map).
- Surveillance is progressing. Department officers have inspected more than 150 properties across regional and metropolitan areas.
- More than 500 surveillance traps (‘sticky traps’) have been installed across regional and metropolitan areas.
Commercial nursery detection
- The psyllid has been found on a surveillance trap at a commercial production nursery north of Perth.
- The property has been quarantined, restricting the movement of all host plants and associated material such as equipment, off the property.
- The nursery is a supplier of a range of Solanaceae seedlings to commercial growers in the metropolitan and regional areas.
- The department is working with the property owner and has moved quickly to trace seedling movements which have recently left the property.
- Under the quarantine conditions, the host plants will be isolated and treated with a chemical insecticide.
- The nursery has rigorous farm biosecurity practices in place through the Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme.
Retail outlet detections
- The psyllid has been detected in chilli seedlings at three retail outlets.
- The retailer has been proactive and worked quickly to securely bag and remove the plant material from its shop shelves. It is working with the department to support tracing activities.
- Additional new detections include commercial chilli, tomato and capsicum crops north of Perth, along with a number of residential properties in the metropolitan area with crops including eggplant, chilli and tomato.
Treatment of infested crops
- Movement restrictions are applied to properties where the psyllid has been found. Property owners at new sites of detection will be directed to undertake chemical treatment.
- Multiple chemical treatments have been applied to the commercial property where the pest was confirmed on 10 February.
- The tomato potato psyllid is a recognised emergency plant pest under the national Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed.
- This deed covers national cost-sharing arrangements for nationally-agreed eradication responses.
- The department is working through this process with other government bodies and industry at a State and national level to reach a nationally-agreed response.
- This will determine whether destruction of commercial crops is required.
- In order to inform this decision, surveillance is progressing as a priority to determine the extent of the infestation.
Quarantine Area Notice
- A Quarantine Area Notice is in place for the Perth metropolitan area.
- The Quarantine Area extends to include Wanneroo in the north, Serpentine-Jarrahdale in the south and Mundaring in the east – see attached map.
- 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 of host material (plants/produce) and potential carriers before it can be moved outside of the Quarantine Area.
- The department understands there is uncertainty about the requirements of the Quarantine Area Notice and is working with industry, retailers and wholesalers as a matter of priority to provide clarity for commercial producers.
- Current information about the Quarantine Area Notice is available on the department website www.agric.wa.gov.au/tpp
- Please check the latest interstate trade requirements in relation to plant material from the Solanaceae or Convolvulaceae families.
- New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland have introduced movement controls on host material from the Solanaceae or Convolvulaceae families produced in Western Australia.
- NSW has updated its conditions of entry for Solanaceae fruit from prohibited to permitted with treatment requirements.
- The department is working with industry, other State jurisdictions and the Federal department as a priority to seek agreement on requirements which will enable trade to resume as soon as possible.
- Exporters should contact the Quarantine WA Exports Officer (Ph: 9334 1800; Fax: 9334 1880: firstname.lastname@example.org) or to verify export requirements.
Check your crops
- Commercial growers are reminded to check for signs of the psyllid and report any unusual detections to the department using the MyPestGuide Reporter app, available free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
- Practice sound farm biosecurity procedures to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. More information on biosecurity is available at the Farm Biosecurity website farmbiosecurity.com.au
Phone: 08 9481 0834
Potato Growers Association of WA
Phone: (08) 9481 0834
Nursery and Garden Industry Western Australia
Matthew Lunn, Chief Executive Officer
Phone: 0410 714 207
Department of Agriculture and Food, WA
Rohan Prince, Industry Liaison
Phone: 0429 680 069
Further information and general enquiries
More information, including how to look for and report the pest, is available from the department website at www.agric.wa.gov.au/tpp
Pest and Disease Information Service
Phone: 1800 084 881