Home gardeners to help protect local fruit and vegetable production

4 Nov 2021

TPP sticky trap

Gardeners across the Sydney Basin have been asked to take part in a survey to help protect their crops and NSW’s valuable horticultural industry from an exotic pest, the tomato potato psyllid.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Biosecurity Collections curator, Peter Gillespie, said gardeners from Newcastle to Ulladulla and west to Muswellbrook, Bylong, Lithgow and Katoomba are invited to take part.

“If you grow tomato, potato, sweet potato, chilli, capsicum, eggplant, tamarillo or goji berry plants, please contact NSW DPI for a free sticky psyllid trap and instructions,” Mr Gillespie said.

“Tomato potato psyllid is a significant plant pest which can affect plant growth, reduce yield and spread a serious disease, known as zebra chip, which affects potatoes.

“It was first detected in Western Australia in 2017 and hasn’t been found in NSW. Fortunately, the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum, which causes zebra chip, has not been detected in Australia.”

NSW DPI has been conducting seasonal surveillance programs to detect tomato potato psyllid and other pest psyllids which pose biosecurity threats since 2017.

Gardeners and citizen scientists can contact NSW DPI to receive a free sticky trap surveillance kit and instructions, including optional registration details for the MyPestGuide app, by contacting terrry.osborne@dpi.nsw.gov.au or using the application form.

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