As well as being a favoured drink, coffee is also a favoured repellent for gardeners. It has a reputation for deterring a variety of pests. One of these pests is snails. We’ll look at if and why coffee grounds deter snails and how we can use this to protect our plants.
Are Snails Deterred by Coffee Grounds?
Yes, snails are deterred by coffee grounds. The presence of coffee is not good for snails, so it is something that they try to avoid. Luckily for us, this means that we have an easy method of repelling snails, but why are snails deterred by coffee grounds?
Why are Snails Deterred by Coffee Grounds?
There are a couple of different reasons why snails are deterred by coffee grounds. The first one is because of its smell. Whilst many people enjoy the bitter smell of the drink, the smell of coffee is not favoured amongst many animals, including snails.
However, the primary reason that snails are deterred by coffee grounds is not because of the smell, but because of the caffeine. Snails do not like caffeine and coming into contact with it is a very uncomfortable experience for them.
Because of this, if they come into contact with any caffeine, they will immediately vacate the area for their own protection and comfort.
Are Coffee Grounds Bad for Plants?
Coffee grounds are generally not bad for your plants and can actually be quite good for them. The addition of coffee to the soil provides extra nutrients for the plants to help them grow and stay healthy.
However, you should avoid using coffee in excess because the sodium content in coffee grounds can cause issues in your plants.
So, yes, it is safe to use coffee on your plants, but you should use it sparingly, you won’t require a large amount of coffee to repel snails anyway so just a small amount will do you fine.
Can Coffee Grounds Kill Snails?
In extreme circumstances, yes, coffee grounds can actually kill snails.
However, using just a small amount of coffee grounds in your garden will not be enough to kill them which is why many people like to use it as a deterrent.
The reason that coffee can kill snails is because of the caffeine content. Being exposed to just a 1% solution of caffeine, which is twice as much as a cup of coffee, will make snails unwell and cause them to stop eating.
Because snails are so aware of the presence of caffeine, most of them will vacate your garden areas before putting themselves at any risk of harm.
How to Use Coffee Grounds to Deter Snails
The best way to use coffee grounds to deter snails is to, first of all, make sure that you are using used coffee grounds. Grounds smell stronger so work better as a deterrent.
After you have gotten your used coffee grounds, all you need to do is sprinkle them on top of your soil. This might be the soil in your plant pots or flower beds, but the snails will be repelled from whatever area you put them in.
Some people like to make a coffee ground border around the whole area of their garden to prevent snails from getting into their garden in the first place. This is a good idea because it offers a wider range of protection from snails and it means that you do not have to add anything to the soil of your plants and can continue maintaining them as you normally would.
To summarise, yes, coffee grounds work well to deter snails. Snails are deterred by the smell of coffee and the presence of caffeine. Caffeine can make snails ill and, in some cases, kill them.
Simply sprinkle used coffee grounds on your soil to repel snails. Coffee grounds will not do any harm to your plants unless used in excess. You can also use coffee to repel other kinds of common garden pests, these include squirrels, ants, and slugs.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden