So, I see where social media (including people posting from around the Rockford area) is all abuzz about a somewhat new phenomenon--dryer sheets being deliberately placed into mailboxes.

I say "somewhat new" when describing this practice, because I can remember being enlightened on this topic several years ago by our neighborhood postal carrier who told me one day that I should "toss a couple of Bounce fabric softener sheets" in my home's mailbox.

When I asked him if the static cling on the envelopes was slowing down his progress, or if making my mailbox "April Fresh" would lessen the amount of bills he was in the habit of dropping off at my house, he just looked at me deadpan and said one word: "Wasps."

Wasp sitting on the cells
Getty Images

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.

His world-weary reply was something like "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.

Who knew? Definitely not me.

It turns out that this is, and has been, an actual thing that postal carriers all over the country (and particularly the Midwest, from what I've been reading) have been doing for a pretty long time.

A postal carrier, who also happens to be a Redditor, posted some of his thoughts on the matter to Reddit a couple of weeks ago:

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.

If you've got a few spare dryer sheets lying around the house, toss a couple in your mailbox to save your postal carrier the trouble and expense of having to do it. As the video below will show, you might even save someone's life.

WATCH OUT: These are the deadliest animals in the world

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5