ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota is the latest state to report residents receiving unsolicited packages of seeds that appear to have come from China.

Officials in other states, including Louisiana, Utah, Virginia and Washington, have reported similar mailings.

Anyone receiving seeds they did not order should contact their state departments of agriculture.

“We’re uncertain what these seeds may be and why people are receiving these unsolicited packages,” said Denise Thiede, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Seed Unit Supervisor. “Until we know more, we encourage people to contact us because of the risk they may pose to Minnesota agriculture and our natural landscapes.”

An unsolicited package of seeds sent to a Minnesotan. (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)
An unsolicited package of seeds sent to a Minnesotan. (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture also issued the following instructions for Minnesotans who receive seeds unsolicited:

  • Do not throw away the package or its contents.
  • Do not plant the seeds.
  • Contact Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us and provide your name, contact information, and the date the package was received.

Officials will coordinate shipping the packaging and contents to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Seed Program.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Program on identification and destruction of the seeds.