Mysterious packages of seeds allegedly sent from China are appearing in people’s mailboxes unsolicited.
They’re coming in all different shapes and sizes and are delivered under the guise of jewelry.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture is warning residents not to plant, throw away or open the seeds. Cheryl Smith, a specialist for the department, said allowing the seeds to grow could be harmful to local ecosystems.
“They could be an invasive species here in the United States,” Smith said. “If they were to grow and survive, then they could also attract pests that we are not familiar with and don’t have already. Which could then attack other agriculture crops that we do have.”
Westminster resident Johanna Zablocki received an unsolicited package last week. Inside the package was a small aluminum pouch with Chinese markings on it.
“It was strange, but we’ve been ordering so much stuff off of Amazon or other websites since COVID hit,” Zablocki said. “It wasn’t something that was entirely out of the unusual, but it was unusual enough that we put them aside to deal with later.”
Zablocki said she called state officials Monday after seeing other people on Facebook with similar stories.
“I spoke to a gentleman there who said I was the 13th person to call them today about receiving a mysterious packet of seeds in the mail,” she said.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture will collect unsolicited seeds and send them to USDA Animal Plant Health and Inspection Services. Residents with mysterious packets are being told to hold on to the original packet and mailing label.
Agriculture departments in other states – including Washington, Louisiana and Kansas – have reported similar events.