(WSIL) -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture is investigating reports of unsolicited shipments of seeds from foreign countries.
Ag officials in several states issued a warning about the seeds on Monday.
SIU Weed Science Assistant Professor Karla Gage says releasing unknown seeds into the environment can be dangerous.
She says they could alter and disrupt ecosystems and form bacteria and fungi that can damage plants and crops.
Gage says it's best to not open the packages or plant the seeds.
"They come in and they take over, and they out-compete the native plants that animals rely on for food. So, the invasive species disrupt that balance, and you see fewer animals in that area," she said.
Anyone who receives unordered seeds in the mail is being asked to contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture by emailing agr.seeds@Illinois.gov with the following information:
- First and Last Name
- Phone Number
- number of packages received