Tomato potato psyllid

Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) Bactericera cockerelli is a tiny sap-sucking, winged insect that feeds on tomato, potato, capsicum, chilli, goji berry, tamarillo, eggplant, sweet potato, and solanaceous weeds like nightshade.

It is a significant pest that causes production losses and can spread a serious plant disease known as 'zebra chip' in potato, caused by the Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) bacterium.

TPP was first detected in Western Australia in February 2017. The origin is unknown.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is working with the Western Australian horticulture industry to undertake surveillance and respond to the detection of TPP.

Quarantine Area is in effect for parts of WA to help minimise the spread of TPP.

The bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) has not been detected in Australia.

Restrictions on bringing host material into South Australia

Condition 17 of the Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS), details restrictions and prohibitions on hosts in the solanaceae and convolvulaceae families. This directly effects well-known products like potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants and sweet potato.

South Australian surveillance activities

Biosecurity SA has and continues to undertake surveillance activities on commercial and residential properties across the state.

This is essential to:

  • protect the state’s $1b horticultural industry and its producers
  • maintain pest free area status recognition
  • prevent quarantine restrictions to trade.

There have been no confirmed reports of TPP in South Australia.

How commercial growers and home gardeners can help

Commercial growers and home gardeners are advised to regularly check their crops for signs of TPP, Examine plants for:

  • white granules and sooty mould coating leaves and stems
  • yellowing or purpling of leaves
  • leaf curling or cupping, dwarfing and stunting
  • wilt.

Look at the underside of leaves for nymphs and look for insects that jump between plants when disturbed.

Report suspected detections of TPP

Page Last Reviewed: 01 May 2017
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