In recent weeks, residents in West Virginia and other states have reported receiving unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from another country. The West Virginia University Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources program urges those who’ve received these seeds to proceed with caution, as the packets could contain seeds of invasive plant species.
At this time, the types of seeds included in the packages are unknown, but due to the seriousness of invasive plants, recipients should remain careful.
These seed packages were delivered by mail to people who did not order them. Some may have characters from the Chinese language or other foreign languages printed on the packaging.
Households who receive unsolicited seeds from another country are advised to not plant them. If the seeds are in a sealed package, do not open it.
Individuals should keep the seeds and packaging and contact either the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in West Virginia at 304-343-8585 or Eric.Ewing@usda.gov or the West Virginia Department of Agriculture at 304-558-2226.
“Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects, and severely damage crops,” Ronnie Helmondollar, WVU Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources program director, said. “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.”
For more information about WVU Extension Service, visit extension.wvu.edu or contact your local WVU Extension Service office.