City of Canning residents can adopt an insect trap to help get rid of pest psylid


Adopt a trap: Linda Ford from the Department of Agriculture and Food discusses the psyllid trap with Marlene O'Connor and Gail Steele.
Adopt a trap: Linda Ford from the Department of Agriculture and Food discusses the psyllid trap with Marlene O'Connor and Gail Steele.

CITY of Canning residents who grow their own fruit and vegetables can help WA’s horticulture industries by adopting a trap for the insect pest tomato potato psyllid.

The Department of Agriculture and Food wants people to install sticky traps in their vegetable patches.

Entomologist Darryl Hardie said the department was looking to set traps on up to 500 properties in the metropolitan control zone where the psyllid is quite widespread.

Dr Hardie said while it was not technically feasible to eradicate the psyllid, trapping and testing would be increased to check for a bacteria that could be carried in the gut of the psyllid and posed a threat to potato and other horticulture industries.

The bacteria can cause problems in potato plants in particular, including zebra chip disease, where infected potatoes develop visible dark stripes after frying.

Infected tubers can fail to produce plants.

The bacterium is not harmful to human health.

Dr Hardie said the traps would be set in gardens where the psyllid feeds on tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potato, capsicums, chilli, eggplant, goji berry or tamarillo.

“We’re grateful to everyone who has already agreed to adopt a trap and will be hoping more gardeners come on board so we can get collect and test as many psyllids as possible,” he said.

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