The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) said that it has been notified that several Virginia residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time, the department said, and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.
The department is urging recipients not to plant the seeds. VDACS said that it encourages Virginia residents who have received unsolicited seeds in the mail that appear to have Chinese origin to contact the Office of Plant Industry Services (OPIS) by submitting a report to the Unsolicited Seed Package Reporting Tool or to the ReportAPest@vdacs.virginia.gov email.
“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 department said in a statement.