TPP R&D overview – pre and post-harvest trials and diagnostics
Scientific R&D is critical to improving our understanding of TPP in Australia, and increasing management options available to growers.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is leading a program of R&D as part of the nationally-agreed TPP Transition to management plan. The plan aims to develop the science, biosecurity and business systems to support growers and industry to manage TPP.
Key research activities and preliminary trial results are outlined below. Growers will able to access final research results via online, industry publications and information sessions following completion of the R&D program in May 2018.
- Pre-harvest insecticide trials
- Insecticides are the most common control method used for TPP overseas.
- 4 insecticides have been trialled on all life stages of TPP, in tomato, capsicum and potato plants.
- The glasshouse trials were carried out by Biological Services with assistance from DPIRD at the South Perth site.
- Plants were infested with TPP prior to treatment to allow populations to develop, and then sprayed multiple times with each insecticide.
- At the same time, biological controls were released to compare the efficiency of insecticides versus a biological-only approach.
- Preliminary findings:
- the active pymetrozine is not effective in controlling TPP
- Abamectin was very effective against TPP which agrees with New Zealand research
- Cyantraniliprole, flocinamid and spirotetramat were also effective.
- TPP has developed insecticide resistance to abamectin and endosulfan in Mexico.
- Growers need effective strategies to minimise insecticide resistance with multiple insecticides available and alternating insecticides with different modes of action or chemical classes.
- Growers are encouraged to contact their chemical advisors to talk through an appropriate Insecticide Resistance Management strategy for their own business.
- Biological control agents (BCA) – lab and glasshouse trials
- 6 species of commercially-available BCAs are currently being trialled, including 3 species of ladybird, an anthocorid bug, a mirid and a lacewing.
- Laboratory trials indicate one ladybird species (Harmonia octomaculata) is a significant consumer of TPP nymphs and adults on tomato, potato, capsicum plants.
- The glasshouse trial evaluated the effectiveness of brown lacewings, ladybirds and a predatory mirid bug in tomato, potato, capsicum plants.
- The mirid bug appeared to be the most effective in the glasshouse trial.
- These initial results from the lab and glasshouse trials indicate more research is required to determine the most suitable biological control agents for TPP in different crops and growing conditions.
- Post-harvest disinfestation
- DPIRD have identified a potential benefit in combining post-harvest disinfestation treatment for Mediterranean fruit fly and TPP for tomato, capsicum and eggplant.
- Preliminary testing with low-dose methyl bromide indicates there is efficacy against TPP eggs, nymphs and adults.
- Native and exotic diagnostics
- Several native psyllid species occur in Australia that may be confused with TPP.
- An identification key will be developed to separate known native psyllid species from exotic species; and classify different exotic species such as TPP, onion psyllid, carrot psyllid and Asian citrus psyllid.
TPP chemical control options
Growers are reminded there are a number of pre-harvest control options currently available to assist with the management of TPP.
Permits from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) have been made available for use in host crops and nursery stock.
Download permits at
Growers have a responsibility to ensure chemicals are used according to the label/permit instructions.
Check and report
Commercial growers are encouraged to check for, and report sightings of unusual insects or damage to their plants through the MyPestGuide reporter app.
Good farm biosecurity procedures should be in place to prevent the entry, establishment and
spread of pests and diseases. More information on biosecurity is available at the Farm
Biosecurity website www.farmbiosecurity.com.au
Contacts for growers
Phone: 08 9486 7515
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 Primary Industries and Regional Development
Ian Wilkinson, TPP Project Manager
Phone: 08 9780 6278
Further information and general enquiries
Pest and Disease Information Service
Phone: 08 9368 3080
The English and Vietnamese versions can also be accessed online – www.agric.wa.gov.au/tpp/industry-information