The Problem

Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP)

The psyllid is a tiny sap-sucking insect, and has three stages of development – adult, egg and nymph. The adults look like small winged aphids around 3mm long. They are brownish with transparent cicada-like wings. It’s pretty hard to spot the yellow eggs (less than 1mm in size), but sometimes they are visible on the edges of leaves. Young nymphs are yellowish green to orange, and get more green as they get older.

Tomato Potato Psyllid can also transfer a bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum to crops, which causes a disease that weakens plants and drastically reduces yields and quality.

Tomato Symptoms

Plants may look stunted, leaves may curl and yellow. Fruit development is uneven, and tomatoes may be misshapen, very small, or no fruit is produced due to flowers falling off the trusses.

Potato Symptoms

The growing tips are stunted and yellow, and the edges of the curled leaves often have a pink or purple tinge. If the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum is present, the stem may have swollen nodes, the plants develop a burned appearance and plants may collapse prematurely. Infected plants often develop numerous shrunken, unusable tubers. The disease is known as “Zebra Chip”, because when the potatoes are fried they reveal unsightly dark stripes, caused by the bacterium converting the starch in the tuber to sugar.

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