The Lonely Mailbox

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the ‘postman’s motto’ which is most popularly remembered as; “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds”.

The original saying is a little different and it’s really not the official motto of the U.S. Postal service. In fact they don’t have one.

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”

The motto originally was coined long ago during the war between the Greeks and the Persians about 500 BC. Herodotus, a Greek historian wrote about the postal couriers of the time noting their diligence and perseverance to deliver letters and packages even as war raged all around.

Today’s mail carriers have it a bit easier I’d say but perils still loom and for some it can be life threatening. Mail boxes are a great place for bees, wasps, scorpions, spiders, roaches, snakes and any assortment of pests to call home. It provides protection from the weather, the box heats up during the day which is always good for egg and larvae development and most have pretty flower arrangements or plantings that provide ample food supply and water every time the sprinkler hits. Except for the one or two disturbances per day (Excluding Sunday’s, and federal holidays) I’d say the mailbox is the ideal place for just about any pest to call home.

As part of any normal pest control service, most pest techs do a thorough job inside and out trying to place a barrier around that will keep nasty bugs out of their customer’s home. I’d venture to say that 99.9% of the time no one ever bothers to look in the mailbox for insect infestations until the homeowners are dive bombed by an angry paper wasp or find a scorpion tucked in between the light bill and the letter from Publishers Clearing House stating they are a multi millionaire.

I’ll admit that on our routes we don’t always look in the mailboxes but it is something we do try to remember. It’s brought up at meetings but the lonely little box at the end of the drive is so easy to overlook and forget about that it may only be when the customer reports of a problem it gets treated. Still I’m sure that bug men everywhere pass up this hidden little fortress allowing the colony of insects to thrive and get ever larger.

There are other places that get equally ignored but if they are near the perimeter of the home you can bet a good technician will be checking. These spots like the mailbox offer safe harborage for pests and if left unchecked can present a danger to an unsuspecting person.

  • swingsets
  • tree houses
  • well tanks and coverings
  • patio furniture
  • chimes or bells on porches
  • exterior lights
  • lawn statues
  • behind ‘welcome’ signs
  • bird feeders or baths

The list could go on and on and each home will have its own unique set of harborage places that I’m sure most technicians find and treat. Still, sometime between signing the receipt, saying goodbye and packing up our technician pulls away from the home and drives right by the mailbox and the pests inside don’t even bother to hold their anxious breath anymore.

Treating a mailbox for pest control is usually a simple thing but since it gets neglected so often it may only happen after a nasty sting or bite. I could list a bunch of do’s and don’ts for you but a mailbox is usually the first thing people see so homeowners love to adorn the box with flowers and the like which attracts all sorts of insects.

Perhaps the best way to get your bug man to treat the mailbox on a regular schedule is to employ another very old adage that almost everybody knows. Sign their receipt, hand it back to them and say;

“The check is in the mail.”

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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