What Do Dryer Sheets In Mailboxes Mean?

What Do Dryer Sheets In Mailboxes Mean?

Summer brings clear skies, a warm breeze, and delicious ice cream. Less commonly, the sunny season also comes with dryer sheets in mailboxes. But what do dryer sheets in mailboxes mean? 

Why do people put dryer sheets in their mailboxes? Or perhaps you opened your mailbox in the summertime and found a dryer sheet in there. 

Well, if you’ve ever wondered why people are doing this and whether you should put a dryer sheet in your mailbox to join in on the trend, you’ve come to the right place. 

Why Are People Finding Dryer Sheets In Their Mailboxes?

So, why are people finding or putting dryer sheets in their mailbox? The reason might sound crazy, but trust us, this has become quite a common phenomenon. 

The main reason to leave a dryer sheet in your mailbox is to ward off any pesky bugs like wasps and yellow jackets. If you’ve ever met one of these creatures on a hot day, you know what a bother they can be. Their stings can be painful!

Unfortunately, when summer rolls around, these pests look for a good place to nest. And your mailbox may just be the perfect place.

Finding a yellow jacket or wasp in a mailbox can really ruin your mail carrier’s day. Nobody wants to have to watch out for aggressive wasps when trying to do their job. But, with just a few dryer sheets, your mail carrier won’t have that problem. 

Adding a dryer sheet in your mailbox is said to prevent these creepy crawlies from setting up shop in your mailbox. They’re a cheap and simple way of keeping the pests away. 

If you see a dryer sheet in your mailbox, then it’s likely that your mail carrier put it in there. They probably opened your mailbox to find some wasps inside or saw the insects flying around so they popped a dryer sheet in there as a preventative measure. It’s a common trick mail carriers use to prevent nests from forming in mailboxes. 

Do Dryer Sheets Work To Keep Wasps And Other Pests Out?

We know what you’re thinking, and we were thinking it too when we first heard about this dryer sheet trick. Does putting a dryer sheet in the mailbox really keep wasps and pests away? 

The answer is complicated. 

Pests like wasps and yellow jackets hate scented dryer sheets with strong smells like eucalyptus and cloves. So, adding scented dryer sheets to your mailbox could repel them because of the powerful scent. The point is to switch out the scented dryer sheet every so often to ensure that the scent stays strong and fresh. As a result, wasps and other insects won’t form their nests in your mailbox. 

Yellow and black wasp

That being said, while the trick works for most people, there isn’t solid evidence that it works. This is because it has never been scientifically studied. 

Luckily, a scented dryer sheet is pretty affordable so it won’t cost you a fortune testing out this method and it could keep your postal worker safe from some nasty stings! 

Should You Put Dryer Sheets In Your Mailbox?

Whether you should or should not put a simple dryer sheet in your mailbox is completely up to you. It truly is all about ‌preference and the area you live in. If you live in a cold area, wasps and yellow jackets might not be a problem. But, in hotter areas, these stinging pests could become a real annoyance. 

If these pests are an issue in your area, consider adding a dryer sheet to your mailbox - if only to save your mail carrier some avoidable grief. They’re incredibly affordable and take little effort to use. 

Alternative Ways To Keep Wasps & Pests From Nesting In Your Mailbox

If you’re not sold on keeping a dryer sheet in the mailbox, here are a few other things you could try to deter wasps and keep them from making a pesky little nest in your mailbox:

  • The first thing you could do is attach a fake wasp to your mailbox. Wasps are notoriously territorial and will avoid the area as soon as they see an unfamiliar nest. 
  • Add insect repellant or barrier products to your mailbox. Add the product around the entrance of your mailbox to repel all kinds of creepy crawlies. 
  • Put a mothball in the mailbox. Adding a mothball to your mailbox can repel creatures like bees and wasps and prevent them from building a nest or hive in your mailbox. Similar to dryer sheets, they have a strong scent that bugs don’t like. 
  • A more expensive option could switch out your wooden mailbox for a metal one. Having a metal mailbox could prevent creatures like carpenter bees from setting up shop. 
  • Another method you could try is keeping your garbage cans away from your mailbox and keeping them closed. You should also cover any recycling bins‌. These bins can attract hornets, wasps, bees, and yellow jackets because of the smell and contents.

While these methods are ‌effective and don’t take too much effort, why not give the dryer sheets a try first? Who knows, they might end up saving you a ton of grief and trouble. They are also a good way to remain on friendly terms with your mail carriers. 

That being said, if you’re dealing with an already progressive infestation, call in a professional. While a single wasp or yellow jacket is an annoyance, a full hive could be a potential health hazard so it’s best to let the professionals handle it.

Bees on a wooden structure


There is nothing worse than finding a buzzing wasp in your mailbox, but all that could be a thing of the past with a simple dryer sheet. 

Putting a dryer sheet in a mailbox is a common method to repel wasps, bees, and other pests as they don’t like the strong smell. So, if you’re worried about creepy crawlies nesting in your mailbox, why not try this preventative measure? You could save yourself and your postal worker from some nasty stings! 

And if you’re looking for a new mailbox that will keep the pests out, check out our selection at MailboxEmpire

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