Don’t Lick Envelopes

We received this submittal as a group of stories and testimonials on why you should avoid licking envelopes from now on. As if anyone uses “snail mail” anymore…kidding, kidding…

I used to work for an envelope company. Our plant supervisor used to work in the Chicago plant and told us not to lick the envelopes because they would often find dead rats at the bottom of the glue barrel (after thousands of envelopes had been glued and shipped). EEWW!

I work in a factory and we have 2 employees who used to work in an envelope factory. They told me that when the machine jams up, they use whatever water is handy to thin out the glue. This includes water that they just mopped the floor with. Since then, I’ve avoided licking envelopes.

If you lick your envelopes… You won’t anymore! A woman was working in a post office in California. One day she licked the envelopes and postage stamps instead of using a sponge. That very day the lady cut her tongue on the envelope. A week later, she noticed an abnormal swelling of her tongue. She went to the doctor, but they found nothing wrong. Her tongue was not sore or anything. A couple of days later, her tongue started to swell more, and it began to get so sore, that she could not eat.

She went back to the hospital, and demanded something be done.

The doctor took an x-ray of her tongue and noticed a lump. He prepared her for minor surgery. When the doctor cut her tongue open, a live cockroach crawled out! There were roach eggs on the seal of the envelope. The egg was able to hatch inside of her tongue, because of her saliva. It was warm and moist. This is a true story reported on CNN.


Andy Hume wrote: “Hey, I used to work in an envelope factory. You wouldn’t believe the things that float around in those gum applicator trays. I haven’t licked an envelope for years!”

To All: I used to work for a print shop (32 years ago) and we were told NEVER to lick the envelopes. I never understood why until I had to go into storage and pull out 2500 envelops that were already printed for a customer who was doing a mailing and saw several squads of roaches roaming around inside a couple of boxes with eggs everywhere. They eat the glue on the envelopes. I think print shops have a harder time controlling roaches than a restaurant. I always buy the self-sealing type. Or if need be, I use a glue stick to seal one that has the type of glue that needs to be wet to stick.

Reader Submitted
Annonymous in NJ

Our Findings


A quick visit to Hoax-Slayer.com reveals that the above email can’t possibly be true. Well, at least the part about the roach eggs on the woman’s tounge anyway. Here is what we found:

“A little research on the subject reveals that roach eggs are actually laid in batches and stored in an egg case. Depending on the species, each egg case can hold as many as 52 individual eggs and the eggs cannot survive outside this case. Therefore, if the story were true, the hapless victim would have ended up with a mouth full of the critters rather than just one. Also, the egg cases are quite large, and even if one did end up on the lickable portion of the envelopment, it is quite unlikely that the person doing the licking would not have noticed it!

What’s more, the claim that the story was reported on CNN appears to be false. A search of the CNN site reveals no mention of the story.”

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