If you’ve received unsolicited seeds from China, don’t plant them

If you've received unsolicited seeds from China, don't plant them
Photo credit: US Department of Agriculture

Authorities are warning residents who receive unsolicited envelopes of assorted plant seeds in the mail from China to not plant the seeds or open the packets.

Homeowners throughout the U.S., including in Contra Costa County, have reported receiving the mysterious seeds. They have the potential to have a detrimental impact to the environment.

“Seed packets should NOT be opened, shipped, or disposed of by residents in order to prevent potential dispersal of invasive species, diseases and/or quarantine pests,” according to the County Agricultural Commissioner.

Residents who receive unsolicited seeds in the mail should contact the commissioner’s office at (925) 608-6600. The office will arrange for an inspector to pick it up.

An investigation involving federal, state and local partners is underway trying to find out where the seeds are coming from, and why they’re being sent.