The Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) has reported folks across Wyoming receiving seeds in the mail from what appears to be China that they did not order.
“Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock,” says WDA.
Other states are also reporting mysterious packages of seeds arriving in residents’ mailboxes. The USDA released a statement today, July 28th, that their Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.
What to do if you receive unsolicited seeds from another country
- DO NOT plant them and if they are in a sealed package, do not open the sealed package.
- Keep the seeds, packaging, and mailing label
- Contact USDA-APHIS here in Wyoming at 307-432-7979 or Bruce.A.Shambaugh@usda.gov to get instructions on what to do next.
At this time, USDA says they do not have any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales.
The USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.