How to reduce the spread of myrtle rust on your property
Rusts are highly transportable because they can produce large numbers of very small spores.
Myrtle rust can be dispersed by:
- Movement of infected plant material (nursery stock, cut flowers, plant cuttings, germplasm)
- Movement of contaminated equipment (secateurs, chainsaws)
- Wind, water (wind-driven rain, irrigation) and gravity
- Animals (insects including bees, birds, other wildlife, pets)
- Humans (on clothing, shoes and jewellery)
Myrtle rust spores on a jacket
Myrtle rust may naturally spread to your property as it becomes established, but there are several steps you can take to help reduce the spread of the disease:
Buy healthy plants
Make sure myrtaceous plants bought for your garden are free from the symptoms of myrtle rust. Inspect the foliage and stems of myrtaceous plants before you buy them, and avoid purchasing plants that have signs of disease.
Clean your equipment
Always clean your gardening tools and gloves with detergent and water (or a disinfectant such as a benzalkonium chloride compound) after use. This is especially important if you have used the tools on another property. For ease of cleaning, use tools that do not have wooden or cracked handles.
Wipe electronic items, such as mobile phones and GPS units, with a disinfectant cloth, or use them in a plastic bag and wash or dispose of the bag before moving to another property.
Clean your clothes
If you have been to a nursery, park, bushland area or another garden, change your clothes, hats and footwear before going into your own garden. Wash these items before wearing them into your garden. This will help avoid the potential transfer of myrtle rust spores from your clothes onto your plants.
Monitor your plants
Regularly inspect myrtaceous plants in your garden for signs of myrtle rust. Early detection in your garden will give you time to consider options for myrtle rust control on your property.
If myrtle rust does establish on your property, note which plants become the most severely affected and consider not replanting with these types of plants.
Report suspected myrtle rust
Any plants you suspect of being infected with myrtle rust should be reported immediately to Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) on 1800 084 881.
Alternatively, you can take electronic photos of the suspect material and email to email@example.com together with a contact phone number.