Gardeners asked to keep eye out for pest tomato potato psyllid after discovery in Palmyra


Kensington Secondary School deputy principal Eugene Maguire and Department of Agriculture and Food officer Don Telfer check over the school community vegetable garden for tomato potato psyllid.
Kensington Secondary School deputy principal Eugene Maguire and Department of Agriculture and Food officer Don Telfer check over the school community vegetable garden for tomato potato psyllid.

HOME gardeners are being asked to keep an eye out for tomato potato psyllid, a destructive pest that has arrived in Australia for the first time.

Detected in Perth in February, the tomato potato psyllid has since been found on more than 60 properties, including on chilli plants in Palmyra.

The psyllid feeds on a range of plants, including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli, tamarillo and sweet potato.

The Department of Agriculture and Food has set up designated control and suppression zones for residents in the Perth metropolitan area.

The control zone means residents in the metropolitan area must not take selected homegrown vegetables, including tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli and tamarillo into regional areas.

Department chief plant biosecurity officer John van Schagen said the restrictions on the movement of non-commercial homegrown fruit and vegetables came into effect on Monday.

“We are making every effort to stop the spread of this pest and are urging local residents in the affected zones to support our valuable horticulture industries and make sure they don’t move this targeted home-grown produce, out of the quarantine area,” he said.

“The tomato potato psyllid is very destructive and we need to work together to ensure that we do what we can to reduce the impacts on both home and commercial growers.

“Complying with these movement restrictions is one way the community can help limit the spread of the pest into regional areas.”

The psyllid does not pose a risk to human health.

To find out more about tomato potato psyllid, including the list of approved control options and a map of the quarantine area, visit agric.wa.gov.au/tpp.