Plant diseases and pests

Exotic plant pest and disease outbreaks

This page has information to help you identify and report exotic plant pests and diseases found in the Northern Territory (NT).

Plant biosecurity protects growers, the general public and the environment from plant pests and diseases.

Banana freckle

There is a major eradication campaign under way in the NT to eradicate the disease banana freckle.

Read more about banana freckle and eradication program.

Citrus canker

Citrus canker has been identified in the NT and Western Australia.

A nationally coordinated response to eradicate the disease is in progress. Movement controls and quarantine measures have been put in place to prevent further spread.

Citrus canker is a contagious bacterial disease that affects all citrus plants and some other plant species of the Rutaceae citrus family.

It is caused by the bacteria Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri.

Read more about citrus canker disease.

Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus

This disease is new to Australia and infects watermelon, cucumber, melons, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, bitter gourd, bottle gourd and some species of closely related weeds.

For more information go to the section on Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus.

Myrtle rust

This disease is caused by the fungus Uredo rangelii and is considered part of the eucalyptus/guava rust fungi group.

Myrtle rust was first identified in New South Wales in April 2010 and has been detected in the NT.

Asian honey bee

The NT is on the alert for Asian honey bees, which are a significant threat to Australia and NT honey and pollination industries.

They can carry varroa, tropilaelaps and tracheal mites and can also spread other pests or diseases to European honey bees, which are used to produce honey.

Read more about the Asian honey bee alert and how to report sightings of unusual bees.

European foulbrood

European foulbrood has been detected on a small number of  bee hives in Katherine. This is a notifiable honey bee disease in the NT.

Read more about bee diseases and how to protect your bee hives.

Browsing ants

Browsing ants were found at Darwin Port and two neighbouring sites in 2015. Browsing ants - Lepisiota frauenfeldi - are exotic and are not established in Australia. They form large colonies and eat and displace native ant species, as well as other insects in the infested area. They are not harmful to humans.

Read more about browsing ants and other exotic ants that are endangering the NT environment.

Dickeya zeae

The bacteria Dickeya zeae was detected in pineapples on one property in the NT in 2016.

The grower has put voluntary quarantine arrangements in place on the property.

All commercial pineapple plantations in the NT have been inspected along with a number of local nurseries. There have been no further detections.

Growers should always maintain good biosecurity practices. For more information on how to minimise risks to your crops visit the Farm Biosecurity website.

Report suspicious pests and diseases

If you see any plant pest or disease you think is suspicious, report it to the exotic plant pest hotline on 1800 084 881.

You can also call NT Quarantine on (08) 8999 2118.

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Last updated: 08 May 2019

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