Local

Don't plant or throw out unsolicited seed packages, officials say

Residents who receive unsolicited seeds in the mail should hang on to the package, but steer clear of opening it or planting the seeds, officials said.

The McHenry County Sheriff's Office has received its first report of a resident receiving an unexpected packet of seeds, the agency posted on its Twitter Thursday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture warned that the "suspicious" seed packets could be part of a “brushing scam,” in which a seller mails unsolicited items and then posts false customer reviews to boost sales.

"Do not open the package, plant the seeds, or throw them out," the sheriff's office said in the post.

Residents who receive unsolicited seeds should send an email to agr.seeds@illinois.gov with their first and last name, phone number and the number and packages received, according to the sheriff's office.

The USDA is in the process of collecting the seeds, which appear to be coming from China, to determine whether they could be harmful to the U.S. agriculture or the environment.

"USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their state plant regulatory official or APHIS State plant director," the USDA wrote in an official statement issued Tuesday. "Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions."

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.