The NextDoor app, a popular platform for local community discussions, has been inundated again this year with questions about the unusual item found in their mailbox: a single dryer sheet.

"Is someone playing a joke on me?" "Does the mailman think my mailbox smells bad?" "Is my neighbor trying to tell me I have static cling?"

Although we haven't inspected your mailbox or seen if you are particularly staticky, the answer to all three of those questions is probably "no." However, your mail carrier may think that your mailbox has the potential for yellowjackets. If you find one, you should probably leave it there.

The trend was started by Chris Stickley, a mail carrier in Eastern Oregon, who noticed a recurring issue with yellow jackets in mailboxes. He told the Today Show that he came up with the idea when he would find three of four yellowjackets hanging out in mailboxes on hot summer days, leading him to experiment with dryer sheets as a deterrent.

While no scientific data supports this practice, many believe that dryer sheets carry a scent that yellow jackets don't like. It's important to note that just because there isn't any scientific proof doesn't mean it doesn't work. It's just that it's never been studied, leaving the effectiveness of this method uncertain.

There's certainly no harm in keeping it there. The worst that can happen is your mail smells nice and fresh, and you never get stung by a yellow jacket.

Eight years ago, the mail carrier that made putting dryer sheets in mailboxes famous among postal workers moved to Idaho.

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