The Missouri Department of Agriculture has received reports from residents of unsolicited seeds being delivered from foreign countries such as China and surrounding areas.
Missouri’s announcement follows those from several states that have also reported packages of these seeds being delivered across the United States. Consistent with nationwide reports, the packages were labeled as jewelry, specifically stud earrings, bracelets, and other accessories.
It is important to take steps to prevent the introduction of invasive species into Missouri to ensure safety of the environment, livestock, and plants. The full risk associated with the seeds in question is unknown at this time. However, the seeds could be an invasive species that has the potential to destroy native plants and damage crops. Invasive species can also introduce diseases to plants and may be harmful to livestock.
If Missouri residents have received unsolicited seeds, the following guidance applies:
Do not open the seed package.
Do not plant the seeds if you have opened the package.
Do not dispose of the seeds, packages, or envelopes.
Please place in a Ziploc-style bag the seeds and any remaining associated shipping packaging that you may still have (including outer shipping envelope that includes the shipping label), then mail to:
USDA APHIS PPQ
1715 Southridge Dr.
Jefferson City, MO 65109
If you already planted the seeds, USDA has provided the following guidance:
Remove the seeds or plants and at least 3 inches of the surrounding soil and place inside a plastic bag.
Squeeze out the air and tightly seal the bag.
Place the bag inside a second plastic bag, squeeze out the air and seal it tightly.
Put the bag in the municipal trash. Do not compost it.
If you planted the seeds in reusable pots or containers, wash the planting container with soap and water to remove any remaining dirt. It’s important to wash the container over a sink or other container to catch the run-off. Put the run-off down the drain or flush down a toilet.
Soak clean planting container in a 10 percent bleach and water solution for 30 minutes.
If you need additional information or guidance, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.