Help keep Territory free of Tomato Potato Psyllid Bugs!

Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade

Territorians are being asked to get involved in a national biosecurity research program by registering to join the Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) trapping project.

This fun, hands on project is open to anyone living in Darwin or Palmerston who has a sunny spot outside where they can keep a pot plant. We are also inviting schools, community gardens and nurseries to participate to help improve the early detection of TPP in the Northern Territory.

This exotic pest can affect a range of plants including: potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum and chilli, damaging plants by feeding on them. These tiny pests look similar to cicadas but are only a fraction of the size growing to about 3mm in length.

Currently there has been no detection of TPP in the NT.

Registrants will receive a ‘trapping pack’ with everything they need, including a FREE eggplant or cherry tomato plant. The project runs from 10 August to 12 September, where participants are required to set up the trap with the plant provided and change their traps weekly. Traps then need to be sent to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade via the supplied postage paid envelopes.

The results will form part of a national research program led by the Western Australian Government’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to determine the status of Tomato Potato Psyllid across Australia.

The trapping project runs from 10 August to 12 September 2021.

To register for the trapping project and receive your free plant, register your details at

Registrations for the project can be completed at

Quotes from Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade Plant Biosecurity Operations Manager and Chemicals Coordinator Sally Heaton:

“The Tomato Potato Psyllid has never been detected in the Territory and we want to keep it that way.

“This is the second year the project has run in the Northern Territory with a total of 160 participants across Darwin and Palmerston registering for the project with 100 participants in round 1 of the 2021 program.

“Participants who live in an apartment or house can participate as well as schools and community gardens.

“This is a fun project to get kids involved in the education of pests and their potential threat to the Territory.

“As part of our round 2 program, we need 170 participants in locations across Darwin and Palmerston to be part of the project.

“Participants will receive official notification to demonstrate that their property is free from Tomato Potato Psyllid if their property has negative results at the time of trapping.”

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