Lifehack: Here’s Why Illinoisans Need Dryer Sheets In Their Mailbox
Is it because we want all aspects of our lives to smell April fresh? Are we trying to get the wrinkles out of an old mailbox? Is it in hopes of going out to the mailbox the next day to find Snuggle Bear? Does our mail stink? Static cling keeping the bills stuck together?
Of course not. Those are all stupid reasons for putting a dryer sheet in the mailbox...well, except for that Snuggle Bear thing. That would be cool.
She's with me on this one.
The Reason For Tossing Some Dryer Sheets In Your Mailbox Is A Protection Issue
This isn't an entirely new phenomenon, as I found out a year or so back when our neighborhood's mail carrier told me one day that I should "toss a couple of Bounce fabric softener sheets" in my home's mailbox.
After running through my supply of lame fabric-softener based jokes (see above), he just looked at me deadpan and said one word: "Wasps."
I told him he would have to make up his mind. Did he want me to put dryer sheets in the mailbox or wasps? This was all very confusing.
It Turns Out That This Is An Actual Thing That Postal Carriers Have Been Doing For A Fairly Long Time
Seeing my confusion he said, "No, you idiot. Dryer sheets get rid of wasps!" He then reached into his truck, pulled out a box of dryer sheets, tore a couple off, and placed them inside my mailbox. After he left, I saw him do it at other houses on my block.
A postal carrier posted some of his thoughts on the matter to Reddit a year or so back:
We’ve found that they hate scented dryer sheets. If we encounter a box that is a problem for nests, we’ll often put one in there and it does the trick.
So please, if you one day randomly see a dryer sheet at the back of your mailbox, just know that your carrier more than likely put it there to deter these Satanic creatures from building their home in it.
The postal carrier goes on to point out that this should only be used as a preventative measure. He says he's never tried it in a mailbox that already had an existing wasp's nest. He only does it to keep the wasps from building a nest in the first place, or when a nest has recently been cleaned out, he does it to keep them from returning.