Idaho Potato Psyllid Pest Alert

Published online: Jul 08, 2024 Articles Dr. Erik Wenninger
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The University of Idaho and our crop consultant collaborators across the state are once again monitoring for potato psyllids, zebra chip disease (ZC), and liberibacter (Lso), the bacterium associated with ZC.

The monitoring program covers commercial potato fields throughout southern Idaho and is funded in part by the Idaho Potato Commission and generous in-kind contributions by our cooperators.

Our official monitoring season began with wide deployment of traps last week and will continue for at least 10 weeks. We have 58 fields across the state this year, using 4 sticky traps per field at all sites.

  • This week we received traps from all 58 fields that we are monitoring.
  • We captured a total of 53 psyllids across 19 fields.
  • Captures were from the following counties: Payette, Canyon (3 fields), Owyhee, Twin Falls (10 fields), Jerome, Cassia, Minidoka, and Bingham.
  • Sites in Twin Falls County had a total of 43 psyllids.
  • We also captured 1 psyllid from the Kimberly Research & Extension Center last week that tested positive for Lso.
  • For psyllids captured this week, we expect to have results on Lso incidence next week.

Psyllid captures this week were higher than at this time in the last two years. It is noteworthy that most of the captures came from the Magic Valley, and most of those from one field (though captures in Twin Falls County were widespread). We typically see higher captures in the Treasure Valley before the Magic Valley, so these observations are unusual. It is not uncommon to see a few Lso-positive psyllids early in the season and fewer as the season progresses. However, if we continue to see relatively high captures in addition to more Lso-positives, this will represent higher ZC risk.

Given the potentially higher ZC risk, we strongly urge growers to have their IPM programs in place. More information on management can be found here: 

https://www.uidaho.edu/cals/potatoes/pest-management/psyllid-management

To view the weekly data by site in the old spreadsheet format: https://tinyurl.com/potatopsyllid

Please visit the Idaho Pest Monitoring Dashboard, for graphical summaries of our psyllid captures from 2020 through 2024: https://idahopestmonitoring.org/