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Santa Barbara, SLO County residents receive mysterious seeds from China

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Washington State Dept. of Agriculture
States are warning people not to plant the seeds they may have received in unsolicited packages. The packages appear to have originated in China, though it's unclear who exactly is behind them.

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - A strange phenomenon happening across the United States has been reported on the Central Coast.

Mysterious bags of what appear to be seeds have been mailed to residents in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties in recent weeks. Instances of these strange deliveries have been reported across the country.

The seeds come delivered to a person's mailbox, often in a transparent bag with Chinese symbols on the packaging. Sometimes the packages are labeled as toys or jewelry.

States have been warning recipients of these seeds and asking them to report the packages to local agriculture officials. Most importantly, they are urged to not plant the seeds. Agriculture officials have warned that these seeds might be invasive plant species.

The San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture is asking residents not to open, plant or dispose of any unsolicited seed packets received, but rather contact their office for help.

“Invasive and exotic species can be detrimental to the environment by impacting native ecosystems, damaging crops and potentially poisoning livestock. Excluding and preventing their introduction is effective in reducing the impact to San Luis Obispo County and to protect our robust agricultural economy,” said Martin Settevendemie, San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Commissioner. 

The California Department of Food and Agriculture says it is aware of these reports and it is working with the United States Department of Agriculture to determine any necessary actions for shipments received in California. 

People in San Luis Obispo County who have received these seeds are urged to contact the department of agriculture at 805-781-5910. Ag officials will arrange collection and properly store the seeds. If you have planted the seeds, the department will provide additional direction. 

Residents in Santa Barbara County should contact their local Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.

  • Santa Barbara Office 805-681-5600
    • 263 Camino del Remedio, Santa Barbara, 93110
  • Santa Maria Office 805-934-6200
    • 624 W. Foster Rd. Suite E, Santa Maria 93455
  • Buellton Office 805-688-5331
    • 185 W. Hwy 246 Suite 101, Buellton 93427
  • Carpinteria Office 805-681-5600
    • 1180 Eugenia Pl. Suite 206, Carpinteria 93013

Community / Lifestyle / Offbeat / San Luis Obispo County

Travis Schlepp

Travis Schlepp is the Digital Content Director for KEYT | KCOY | KKFX.

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