After increasing reports of Illinois residents receiving mysterious seeds in the mail, the Illinois Department of Agriculture explained Tuesday how to best to dispose of them.
The department said in a Facebook post Tuesday that the seeds often come from foreign countries and there is a proper procedure to destroy them while limiting risks to the environment.
Officials warned against opening the seed packet and to wrap the package several times in duct tape before throwing it in the garbage.
The post instructed those who have already planted the seeds and now have plants to dig up those plants, place them in two bags and dispose.
Agriculture officials in Illinois originally issued a warning to residents last week to not open, plant or throw out "unsolicited shipments of seeds from foreign countries."
The alert came amid reports from people in several states who have received packages of what appear to be Chinese seeds. A similar warning was also issued in Wisconsin.
The warnings state the seeds are unknown and could be invasive species or be harmful to people or livestock.