Country gardeners to check for insect pest

Country gardeners to check for insect pest

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Vegetable and fruit growers in Geraldton and Carnarvon are encouraged to check for and control the insect pest, tomato potato psyllid (TPP), after the pest was found in the area.

Vegetable and fruit growers in Geraldton and Carnarvon are encouraged to check for and control the insect pest, tomato potato psyllid (TPP), after the pest was found in the area.

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Home gardeners and horticultural growers are encouraged to check for and control tomato potato psyllid.

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Home gardeners and horticultural growers in Geraldton and Carnarvon are encouraged to check for and control tomato potato psyllid (TPP), after the insect pest was found during surveillance.

TPP is a tiny sap-sucking insect that affects a range of plants including tomato, potato, capsicum, chilli, eggplant and sweet potato.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) irrigated agriculture director Rohan Prince said the detections were made during an active surveillance program led by the department.

TPP is present in Perth and parts of the South-West and Great Southern.

This is the first time the pest has been found on properties in Geraldton and Carnarvon.

Mr Prince encouraged home gardeners to check their plants for the pest and be aware of the range of control options available.

"Check plants for insect eggs, nymphs and adults on leaves," Mr Prince said.

"TPP adults resemble miniature cicadas in appearance, but are the size of an aphid (about 3mm long).

"Also look for signs of leaf damage, including yellowing or purpling of leaf margins or upward curling of leaves."

Good control of insect pests such as TPP is important to minimise spread.

Mr Prince said industry had been advised of these latest detections.

"Growers have access to Enterprise Management Plans developed in close consultation with industry," Mr Prince said.

This detection does not impact on current interstate trading requirements which are currently in place for plants and select produce sent from WA.

DPIRD is undertaking surveillance as part of a national project, and is researching the alternative disinfestation options for TPP host crops.

More information on TPP and control options is available from the department website agric.wa.gov.au/tpp

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