El Dorado officials say residents should be wary of ‘mysterious, unsolicited seeds from China’ | TahoeDailyTribune.com

El Dorado officials say residents should be wary of ‘mysterious, unsolicited seeds from China’

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — El Dorado County officials say residents should be on alert for strange, unexpected seed packages arriving in the mail from China.

The county’s Department of Food and Agriculture said Wednesday afternoon it has recently received a number of reports from residents who have received “mysterious and unsolicited seeds from China.”

Officials say the seed packages, often labeled as jewelry, are being shipped to homeowners throughout the country.

The CDFA is in communication with the United States Department of Agriculture to determine any necessary actions for shipments received in California.

Officials are instructing residents not to open the packages, plant the seed, or dispose of any unopened packets for fear of spreading an invasive species. Residents should contact the department at 530-621-5520.

“Invasive species can devastate the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects, severely damage crops and poison livestock,” said El Dorado County Agricultural Commissioner Charlene Carveth in the release. “Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestation and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations. We encourage recipients to contact our office for arrangements to drop off the seed packets or for a staff member to pick up the packet. 

Carveth added that if the seeds were already planted, to contact the department for further direction.

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