South West residents are being called to support local horticulture industries by being vigilant and trapping and report the exotic insect pest, tomato potato psyllid.
Southern Regional Manager, Neil Guise said residents and home gardeners could help by hosting a sticky trap on their properties.
The psyllid is a destructive insect which feeds on a range of plants including potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli, tamarillo and sweet potato.
The psyllid was first detected in the metropolitan area last month and has now been confirmed on more than 50 commercial and residential properties.
It has been detected on five properties in the Yarloop, Busselton and Margaret River areas.
Mr Guise said the department was conducting extensive surveillance and monitoring on commercial horticulture properties, and was looking to the community to increase trapping for the psyllid in residential areas.
“About 1500 sticky traps have been installed on properties across regional and metropolitan areas of the State, with more than 500 in the South West as part of the department’s response to this pest,” Mr Guise said.
“Getting the community involved will be a tremendous help in determining the spread of psyllid in the region and is a positive way of supporting our local vegetable growers and industry.
“We are asking people to collect a sticky trap, place it on their property for seven days and then return it in the provided sealed plastic bag.
“The department can then confirm if the psyllid is present at that location.”