The USDA and agriculture officials across the U.S. have issued warnings about unsolicited shipments of foreign seeds and advised people not to plant them.
Officials are concerned the mystery seeds, which appear to have originated in China, could be invasive plant species.
CBS News has confirmed that residents in all 50 states have now reported receiving suspicious packages of seeds.
A deputy from the Union County Sheriff’s Office was sent to a residence in the 17000 block of Moore Road to investigate packages of seeds that were received through the mail. It’s unclear where the package originated.
Agriculture officials are warning that invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops.
Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture says that any Ohioans who have received these unsolicited packages should not open, plant, or throw them away. Rather, they should use one of the following methods:
Place any materials received and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and mail them to USDA-APHIS at the following address:
Attn: USDA -SITC
8995 East Main Street, Building 23
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
2. Place any materials received in a resealable plastic bag and drop them off at your county’s OSU Extension Office during business hours. OSU extension offices can be found here: https://extension.osu.edu/lao