CHICAGO - Sometimes, mysteries have really useful solutions.
During the summer, some people apparently have been finding dryer sheets stuck inside their mailboxes. Fortunately, the reason for this is actually pretty straightforward and is based on the mailman not wanting to get stung.
A postal worker took to Reddit to inform people of the truth behind the dryer sheets. Posting under the name Istrx13, the user explained that the dryer sheets are used to keep wasps away.
"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 three-to-five Yellowjackets just chillin," he wrote. "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. We all know how temperamental these little insects are and merely existing in their presence is enough to piss them off. Last year alone I was stung 10 times on 10 separate occasions."
His post continued, "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 post was later updated to explain, "This should only be used as a preventative measure. 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."
Reddit users were pretty impressed by the simple trick.
One user wrote, "I'll be putting a dryer sheet in there tomorrow. I love my mail carrier, and I have an insect phobia, so it's a win-win."
Another commenter claimed to be a restaurant worker from California and said that yellowjackets often get "into the guests’ plates, especially if they smell salmon. We learned long ago to put a few dryer sheets under the tablecloths on the patio."
Other users, however, had fun with the idea that the dryer sheet trick might be misinterpreted, as facts on the internet often are. One user joked, "If there is a dryer sheet in your mailbox that means a gang has marked your house for a home invasion."