Get disposal guidance for unsolicited seeds
If you receive a package of seeds that you did not order, do NOT open the seed package. Follow the guidelines listed below.
Generally, these situations are often part of a “brushing scam” where people receive seed from a seller who posts false customer reviews to boost sales. However, sending this seed to USDA or disposing of it by one of the methods listed below is always advisable.
Option 1: Mail the seed package(s) to USDA
State Plant Health Director
USDA APHIS PPQ
4354 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd, Suite 150
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Option 2: Render seeds/plants non-viable
Destruction options for unplanted seeds
Heat seeds in oven or by similar means
Preheat oven to 325F (163C).
Remove seeds for packaging and place seeds in a single layer on a baking pan (or cookie sheet) lined with tinfoil
Dispose of empty seed packet(s) in the trash.
Place seed in pre-heated oven for minimum of 30 minutes.
Remove the seed from oven and allow to cool.
Double bag the baked seeds in plastic bags and dispose of them in the trash.
Crush seeds to render them non-viable
Double bag the seeds in thick plastic bags.
Crush seeds with hammer or other method sufficiently to render them non-viable.
Dispose of the crushed, non-viable seed in the trash.
Destruction options for seeds/plants that were sowed in pots:
Remove the plants (including soil) and place inside a plastic bag. Use the thickest plastic bag available. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. Seal the bag.
Place inside a second plastic bag. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. Seal the second bag.
Dispose of the double-bagged plant material/soil into trash. Do not compost.
Dispose of the planting container in 2 trash bags as described above (recommended), or
Remove as much soil as possible from inside the pot with a paper towel.
Wash the planting container with soap and water to remove dirt.
Soak the planting container in a 10% bleach solution for 30 minutes, rinse and refrain from planting new material in the container for 12 months.
Collect runoff from washing the planting container and put it down the drain or toilet.
Destruction options for seeds/plants that were sowed in ground:
Remove the plants including the surrounding soil, including 3 inches of soil around the seeds/plants.
Where seed germination has not occurred, remove the soil presumed to contain the planted seeds.
Place seed/plants and soil material inside a plastic bag. Use the thickest plastic bag you have available. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. Seal the bag.
Place the bag inside a second plastic bag. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. Seal second bag.
Dispose of the double-bagged plant/seed/soil material in the trash. Do not compost.
Refrain from planting new plants in the affected area for 12 months and remove any plants that grow in the area.