The Minnesota Department of Agriculture took to Facebook Monday to warn residents not to plant mysterious seeds from China, should they receive them via mail.

According to MDA, some people have been reporting that they have received strange packages of seeds they didn't order from China. The packages contain mysterious seeds and planting instructions. Officials in Louisiana, Utah, Virginia and Washington have also had similar reports from residents.

The MDA's Seed Unit Supervisor, Denise Thiede said, "We're uncertain what these seeds may be and why people are receiving unsolicited packages."

If you happen to receive a package of seeds that you know you didn't order, here's what you should do;

  • You should not throw it away.
  • Don't plant the seeds.
  • You must contact 'Arrest the Pest' line at 1-888-545-6684 or you can email arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us.

You'll be asked to provide your name, contact information and the date that you first received the package.

The Facebook warning has generated hundreds of reactions from people in the community.

Charity Weyhrauch wrote, "I ordered seeds from Amazon and it took months for them to arrive. When they did come, they were from China and in this same packaging. I saved the seeds but not the package. They are what I ordered from Amazon though. Keep us informed on what you find out."

Online commenter, Jessica Sherlock shared her theory. She thinks it's fraudulent eBay sellers who are sending out the seeds. She says she thinks these sellers buy cheap things using multiple accounts as a way to fool eBay's fraud algorithm. They send items to random addresses so it boots their online reputation, because it looks legit and then they can give themselves higher online reviews.

Hmm...that's actually not a bad theory, Jessica. But, while MDA investigates, you're asked to take their advice and turn in your mystery seeds from China until they have more information.