A D.C. woman says she’s received six packets of mysterious seeds in packages appearing to be from China over the past few weeks.
Bonnie Heather McCabe, an accomplished gardener who lives in North Cleveland Park, said the plastic packages are labeled as stud earrings or jewelry.
McCabe orders a lot of seeds online and suspects whoever sent her the mystery seeds got her address off a website she ordered through.
“The jewelry is the mystery,” she said. “I guess the jewelry is just the snag to get you to open the envelope.”
Officials say scores of people have received the suspicious seeds.
Photos: Mystery Seeds Mailed From China
“I’ve actually talked to residents of at least 15 other states,” said Michael Wallace of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
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“All are stating that they have received these seeds that have no identification,” he said. “They were not ordered. They were not wanted. It was just something that came in the mail.”
The seeds could be an invasive species, his department says.
Officials are asking that people not plant the seeds or dispose of them on their own. They should place them in an airtight bag and contact the proper authorities.
“They are not going in my garden, they are not going in anybody else’s garden, they are not going in the trash, they are not going down the drain,” McCabe said. “They are going to go where I’m told to put them.”
If you receive a package with the seeds in Virginia, the Department of Agriculture is asking people to contact them at ReportAPest@vdacs.virginia.gov.