WILDLIFE

Found a dryer sheet in your mailbox? It’s probably your mail carrier

May 11, 2021, 9:50 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2021, 2:10 pm
dryer sheet mailbox...
If you happen to find a dryer sheet in your mailbox this summer, it might just be your mail carrier keeping the wasps away. (Stock Images Canva)
(Stock Images Canva)

It’s a mail mystery some on the internet have mused over after finding a dryer sheet in their mailbox.

No, it’s not a sign from some nefarious and floral-scented anti-static gang, saying your home has been marked for a good cleaning. It’s probably your mail carrier.

Yellow jackets, wasps, others don’t like dryer sheets

Reddit User “istrx13” recently shared a post on the internet community “You Should Know,” saying that putting a dryer sheet in mailboxes is something that letter carriers do to help keep yellow jackets away.

“We’re almost to the month of May which means nice weather, hanging out outside, school closing for the summer, and the return of those dastardly devils: Yellowjackets and Wasps,” they wrote.

“I’m sure you’ve noticed. But just in case you haven’t, this time of the year wasps and Yellowjackets (especially Yellowjackets) like to make nests inside of mailboxes,” they continued, saying that’s where the little scented squares come in handy.

Istrx said a band of bee imposters attacked him or her more than once over the last year. 

“I can’t tell you how many times, especially during this part of the year, where I’ve opened up a box to see a little nest with 3-5 Yellowjackets just chillin. If I’m really unlucky, they will have made their nest at the very back of the box so I wind up sticking my hand in not knowing they are there,” Istrx said, adding that in total they were stung 10 times last year.

Dryer sheets in the mailbox

One of the things that they said deters those “Satanic creatures” making nests in a mailbox is a simple dryer sheet.

Istrx said it doesn’t matter what brand or what scent you use, so long as you place a scented dryer sheet in the back of the mailbox. That seems to keep the pests out.

The one thing to remember, though, according to this mail carrier is that this is a preventative measure. Istrx said if a huge nest infests your mailbox, your carrier will leave a note on your door. 

“I’ve never tried when there’s a huge nest so I have no idea if it would work. I just immediately leave a note on the customer’s door letting them know they need to take care of the nest before I can resume delivering their mail. It would be best to get rid of the large nest and then put a dryer sheet in to keep them from coming back.”

So does putting dryer sheets in the mailbox keep wasps away?

Officially, the word is, maybe… According to the myth-busting and fact-checking site Snopes, the results are “unproven.”

“While this method may be utilized by some mail carriers, the Postal Service does not instruct its employees to put dryer sheets in mailboxes to repel wasps,” they say.

Other than that, out on the world wide web, there’s a few critter control and pest removal websites that say go for it, and there are blogs that say it’s all hokum. 

But for now, it seems like there is just the anecdotal evidence of a random mail-carrier from the internet. 

We’re putting these claims to the test as you read this, but we also want to hear from you! Have you tried this to keep the wasps away? Did it work? Let us know!

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Found a dryer sheet in your mailbox? It’s probably your mail carrier