Do Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away?

Do Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away

Coffee grounds have a strong smell that is thought to keep many pests away. And with squirrels having the sensitive noses that they do, can it be used to repel them?

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 extremely off-putting for them.

Squirrels do not like the smell of either used or unused coffee grounds, though used ones are usually stronger and more repellent. 

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 stronger smell. This means that their smell will reach out further and help repel squirrels from larger areas of your garden. 

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

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.

This is because they contain extra minerals that help promote healthy plant growth when added to the soil. 

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. 

What Other Pests Do Coffee Grounds Keep Away?

As well as squirrels, coffee grounds appear to be effective at keeping away other pests that may damage your garden. Here is a shortlist of some pests that can be deterred by the presence of coffee grounds. 


Similarly to squirrels, many insects have a very strong sense of smell. This is true for mosquitoes and it is for the same reason that they are repelled by coffee grounds. They simply cannot stand the smell of it and will avoid areas where coffee grounds are. 

mosquito coffee grounds


Fleas are a nuisance that can quickly jump and thankfully, in the presence of coffee they will jump away from your garden. Some people have even suggested using a shampoo of coffee grounds on their pets to keep them free of fleas. 


Whilst there are some benefits to having snails in your garden, they do not like coffee grounds and will leave plants that smell like coffee alone. This is good because many snails can quickly damage plants due to a large number of plant leaves they eat.


Ants will eat coffee, but the smell of used coffee grounds is off-putting and confusing. The smell of the coffee will cause disruption in their scent trails meaning that the colony will not be able to follow a direct trail to a sustainable food source. 


To summarise what we have learnt, here are some key points to remember. Squirrels dislike the smell of coffee, and it can be used to repel them. Used coffee grounds are a better deterrent than unused coffee grounds.

Coffee grounds are safe to use around plants and can help improve their growth and help your garden have a healthy ecosystem by attracting worms and, therefore, birds.

The smell of coffee also helps to remove other pests. These include mosquitoes, fleas, snails and ants. 

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