SALTILLO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Mysterious seeds are appearing in people’s mailboxes. One woman in Saltillo said she got a pack of them at her home address. She’s not the only one.
It seems like a surprise gift. Mysterious seeds in your mailbox. However, the problem is we don’t know what plants they’ll grow into.
The seeds showed up in Dawn Ihle‘s mailbox. She said they appeared to be from China.
“When you opened it, it was just a pack of seeds. There wasn’t any indication of what kind they were, or anything like that, so because of that, it kind of scared me.”
“When you’re looking at it, it has your name, but up at the right-hand corner where it’s supposed to be, you know, the return address, it’s all in Chinese,” she said.
She said hardly noticed the strange package at first.
“That’s why it got lost in the mail, because it’s just a little bitty packet, I mean about the size of your hand.”
Dr. Bill Burdine of the Mississippi State University Extension Service said the packages started appearing in mailboxes a couple weeks ago.
“These packages are being delivered through UPS and FedEx to homes all across the United States.’
He said right now, The Mississippi Department of Agriculture does not know what all the types of seeds are yet. They are asking people not to plant them or throw them away.
Burdine said the seeds could be a plant that could be a harmful invasive species. The seeds may be toxic and could poison the soil and crops. He said these are just a few of the possibilities. He said people should not throw them away because at the landfill, the seeds will almost surely take root and start growing anyway.
“Do not do anything with the seeds other than call the Mississippi Department of Agriculture or the local county extension office. Bring those to our office, and we’ll have an inspector pick them up.”
Burdine said people need to be cautious.
“There is the potential this could be bioterrorism. We don’t think it is, but we need to rule that out first.”
He added the extension service believes it’s a “brushing attempt”, which is when a company sends an item to a receiver and posts fake positive reviews online on behalf of the customer.
Ihle said tomorrow, an inspector for Lee County will come by and pick the seeds up off her porch. She added she is waiting to hear back about what the seeds are.
“I was just concerned, I wanted to let my neighbors and my community know what to look for,” she said.
According to their website, the USDA has identified 14 types of the strange seeds as of July 29th. Some of them include cabbage, morning glory, mint, sage, and hibiscus.