Do Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away?

Coffee grounds have a strong smell that is thought to keep many pests away. With squirrels having sensitive noses, do coffee grounds keep squirrels away too?

Yes, coffee grounds do keep squirrels away in the majority of cases. Humans love the smell but squirrels find it bitter and off-putting so will avoid areas that smell of coffee.

Do Squirrels Like the Smell of Coffee?

Squirrels do not like the smell of coffee. Despite the bitter scent being nice to us, it is powerful for squirrels and highly off-putting to them.

Squirrels do not like the smell of either used or unused coffee grounds, though used ones are usually stronger, more repellent and a simple by-product of making coffee that usually ends up in the bin.

If you really think about the smell of coffee, it can be quite bitter with an unnatural smell. Now, imagine you’re an animal that has never smelt coffee…

… You’ll proceed with caution and avoid it where possible, right?

Do Squirrels Like Coffee Grounds?

No, squirrels do not like coffee grounds. Squirrels have a strong sense of smell and are instantly put off by the strong, bitter smell of coffee grounds.

How to Use Ground Coffee to Deter Squirrels

There is an effortless way to use coffee grounds to repel squirrels. Sprinkle them around the soil of plants or areas of the garden frequently disturbed by squirrels.

Placing used coffee grounds in these areas is much more effective than using new ones because they have a much more pungent smell. This means that their smell will reach out further and help repel squirrels from more extensive areas of your garden. 

An excellent way to keep on top of this is to sprinkle water over the coffee grounds every few days. Doing this helps not only keep them fresh, but it continues to amplify their aroma and, therefore, their effectiveness.

Unfortunately, with wind, rain and even sunlight, the effectiveness of coffee grounds will not last much beyond a few days. The good news is that if you drink coffee daily, then you can empty the coffee grounds tray in your garden instead of the bin. 

Do Coffee Grounds Attract Pests?

Before using coffee grounds to deter squirrels, it’s worth knowing that coffee grounds can attract some pests. Roaches, for example, are attracted to coffee grounds alongside some flies.

Which Kind of Coffee Grounds Deter Squirrels?

Fortunately, if the coffee grounds smell of bitter coffee, then they will work to deter squirrels. It’s safe to say that most coffee grounds will work, and it doesn’t matter which brand it is.

The only thing to consider is that you want to use coffee grounds from an espresso or coffee machine. Avoid using instant coffee grounds, which tend to have a milder odour.

You should also use coffee grounds and not fresh beans or ground beans. Coffee grounds are a by-product of making coffee, so it won’t cost you anything to use this deterrent.

Are Coffee Grounds Bad for Plants?

Knowing what to use to repel pests can be tricky as you do not want to cause any harm to your plants. But coffee grounds are actually good for plants, so you don’t need to fear using them in your garden.

As well as this, coffee grounds are also said to attract worms. At first, that doesn’t sound good, but worms are actually beneficial little critters to have in your garden.

The presence of worms will also work to attract birds; therefore, coffee grounds can help your garden host and maintain a healthy ecosystem.

Ultimately, coffee grounds can work to deter squirrels (and other pests) whilst benefiting your soil and plant health. As a gardener, coffee grounds are a win-win!

Fed Up With Squirrels Ruining Your Garden?

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If you have further questions about coffee and how it can be used to deter squirrels from your garden then have a look through these common FAQs:

Do Squirrels Hate Coffee?

Like coffee grounds, squirrels also hate coffee. However, coffee is no more effective than the grounds. With coffee being something you might enjoy versus grounds which are a waste product, it makes sense to use the grounds.

Are Coffee Grounds Harmful to Birds?

Were a bird to ingest the grounds then there is a risk it could cause them harm, especially if there is still caffeine present. However, the risk of them actually consuming grounds is very low.


We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:


Squirrel Control CA

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