Arizonans now among those receiving mysterious, unsolicited seeds that appear to be sent from China

Mystery Seeds

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - People in southern Arizona are now among many across the country who have received packages that appear to be from China containing mysterious seeds they did not order.

The Douglas Police Department posted a photo of seeds a resident received, presumably from China.

Residents in Douglas, Ariz. say they received a package of unsolicited seeds that arrived in a package with Chinese lettering.
Residents in Douglas, Ariz. say they received a package of unsolicited seeds that arrived in a package with Chinese lettering. (Source: Douglas Police Department)

“It really concerned us in a number of ways,” said Sean Herdrick with the Better Business Bureau serving southern Arizona.

Herdrick said they are tracking this closely.

“You really have to approach this with caution,” Herdrick said.

Herdrick said even his mother in Washington state received an unsolicited package from China containing seeds.

There are a couple of theories, though nothing is confirmed.

It could be an invasive species, or possibly a brushing scam where retailers send unsolicited packages to gain reviews.

The Douglas Police Department recommends people place the seeds inside a sealed bag and contact the Arizona Department of Agriculture, which released a statement reading in part:

“APHIS is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and State departments of agriculture including the Arizona Department of Agriculture to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds.”

Whatever it is, Herdrick urges residents to keep a close eye on their bank accounts.

“If you are being sent something, your information may be compromised as well. Make sure you check your password, watch your bank accounts, and things like that because things may be taken out of it if they have your private information,” Herdrick said.

Anyone in Arizona who receives an unsolicited package of seeds from China should immediately send or drop off the package to one of the following locations:

Arizona Department of Agriculture

ATTN: PLANT SERVICES DIVISION

1688 W. Adams

Phoenix, AZ 85007

(P) 602-542-0992

(F) 602-542-1004

Tucson Operations Arizona Department of Agriculture

Plant Services Division

400 W Congress Ste. 124

Tucson, Az. 85701

(P) 520-628-6314

(F) 520-628-6961

Yuma Operations Arizona Department of Agriculture

Plant Services Division

1931 S. Arizona Avenue Suite 4

Yuma, AZ 85364

(P) 928-341-1758

(F) 928-341-1750

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