Do Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away?

Yes, coffee grounds can keep squirrels away. The main reason is, squirrels do not like coffee grounds. There are a lot of urban legends about how to keep squirrels away, and one of the most popular ones is using coffee grounds.

Coffee grounds can work as natural pesticides. Yes, I’m talking about our regular coffee grounds. Some of you may have used ground coffee as compost in your garden. Besides that, Coffee grounds could fight against garden enemies and keep your garden safe.

Sometimes, Squirrels could be one of those enemies. I know some of you are very curious because of talking AGAINST squirrels, the sweet little things. But, the gardeners can tell you the hard times they pass because of squirrels.

To keep the squirrels away from your garden, you can use any grounds. It could be regular coffee or decaf coffee. You do not need to use fresh coffee grounds as squirrel repellents. You can also use ‘used coffee grounds.’ For an effective outcome, you may put coffee grounds frequently.

Are you thinking, how do coffee grounds keep Squirrels away?

To be honest, it is a very easy process.

In this article, I will clarify to you the reasons for Squirrel damage, identify the damage, and how to stop it.

What Are Squirrels? Why Do They Come?

Squirrels are small or medium-sized rodent animals. These mammals can live anywhere from semiarid deserts to tropical rainforests. But neither in the high polar regions nor the arid places.

There are many types of squirrels across the world. Many of them are synanthropic, live near human beings, and profit from them. This characteristic influences them to build their nests around our household.

As squirrels habituated to urbanization, they became our neighbors. Sometimes squirrels come to visit our house yard and like the gardens too. As a result, they do not mind doing limitless exploration in our garden.

Are you curious to know which things attract squirrels the most?

Well, squirrels love those foods which are rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Squirrels are herbivores. They eat seeds, nuts, plants, fruits, green vegetables, and fungi. Sometimes they could eat flesh such as eggs, small birds, young snakes, and insects.

Except for the flesh items, all the seeds and vegetable items attract squirrels to your garden. So, they can visit your yard from time to time for food.

Sometimes we are also inviting squirrels unknowingly. If you have a food source for pets or have a bird feeder outside, then it is an explicit invitation for squirrels. They love to eat birdseed. Whether it is the direct or indirect approach, squirrels start coming again and again.

How much damage can squirrels do in the garden?

Squirrels are not typical guests in your home or garden. But, those are very keen and curious animals. This characteristic leads them to damage your garden and home area. 

Squirrels generally dig the earth to preserve their food. So, they bury seeds and nuts there for feeding in winter and later. They are also stored in other places like tree holes or abandoned sites of your home.

In this process, squirrels can damage the roots and bulbs of your plants in the garden. Even the vegetables in your garden can be a delicious meal for them.

If squirrels get food often, they are encouraged to live near the food source. As a result, they build their nest in your home and garden. Squirrels prefer the basement, attic, crawl space, and eaves.

They will not damage their nesting sites. But, they can damage your insulation, wiring, shingles, and any wooden interior.

Squirrels can bring animal diseases home. Your pets can be easily affected by these diseases. Even your children and other family members can be under threat. Count these threats as severe damage too.

How to identify damages caused by Squirrels?

So, you are anxious about your garden now. Relax friends. You can identify the squirrel’s damage. You will notice that someone destroyed your trimming places. As like,

  • The destruction is in your lawn and garden areas, including stripped bark of big trees
  • Uprooted and eaten vegetable and flowering plants
  • Scattering wood chips, fruits, and split nutshells everywhere
  • Chew marks and damages to your wiring, wall, and wooden home structures
  • Nests in your insulation, rooftop, shingles, and other quiet places
  • Ripped off your garbage bags
  • Damages to air vents and hosepipe of the garden
  • Ruins of the outside pet or bird feeders

If you find these symptoms, then definitely it is the squirrel damage.

Do Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away?

If you ask, can coffee grounds really keep squirrels out of our green space?

To answer the question, yes, coffee grounds can remove squirrels from your garden. The reason is, squirrels do not like coffee grounds.

To get rid of squirrels from your garden, you can use any grounds. It could be regular coffee or decaf coffee. You do not need to use fresh coffee grounds to deter squirrels. But, for an effective outcome, you may put coffee grounds frequently.

Coffee grounds work as natural pesticides for insects and animals that damage plants. When you are trying to keep your garden safe, coffee grounds are your best friend. Both decaf and regular coffee work best in your garden. You need to put coffee grounds in the right amount and right place. Squirrels avoid places with coffee grounds as they dislike them.

If you have a habit of drinking coffee, then you can use your grounds in the garden. If you are not a regular coffee drinker, then collect ground from your local coffee shop. It does not need to be fresh-brewed coffee. You may have to put it on more frequently if it rains.

Let us see together how to put coffee grounds in the garden.

  • Always put half an inch or one inch of ground coffee on the garden soil
  • Even for the potted plant, spread grounds on the pot
  • Put coffee grounds in the places where squirrels damage the most
  • Spread around the bird feeders to keep away squirrels
  • Apply new coffee grounds every week or a few days later if needed
  • Add coffee grounds to your compost pile. But be careful about the amount, it may mess up pH levels

Do not put a thick layer of coffee grounds in your garden. The thick layer may help to produce molds, which are harmful to plants. Sometimes, the excess coffee ground may affect your plants too. Keep a careful look at your pets when you put coffee grounds.

If they eat it while roaming around in your yard, then pets may get sick due to excess dose.

Coffee not only deters squirrels but also deters more aggravating animals. Chipmunks, deer, and slugs disgust coffee grounds too. You can use fresh ground coffee as well.

You can sprinkle grounds on your rooftop or other places in your house. This will help you to deter pesky animals. If the effectiveness went so quickly, then apply grounds frequently as you need.

Why is it beneficial to use coffee?

Coffee ground is natural and a great deterrence to expel squirrels. You can use other natural and artificial deterrence in the garden. Besides this, coffee has some benefits too.

  • It is so cheap to use ground coffee in the garden
  • As coffee has a good fragrance, it works as a natural air freshener in your house
  • Your garden will benefit from coffee grounds. It works as a good compost
  • Coffee also keeps other animals away from your plants and garden

Coffee is a blessing for your garden in all aspects.

Some Disadvantages Of Using Coffee Ground

Using coffee grounds for squirrel prevention can have certain disadvantages, depending on the specific context and application. Consider the following potential drawbacks:

  1. Mess and Residue: Coffee grounds can be messy and leave residue behind, whether you’re using them for pest prevention in your garden or as a cleaning agent. This residue can stain surfaces and be challenging to clean up
  2. Attracting Pests: While coffee grounds are used by some as a pest deterrent, they can also attract certain pests, like ants. If not used properly, they might inadvertently invite pests into your home or garden
  3. Ineffectiveness: The effectiveness of coffee grounds for prevention varies depending on the specific use. They may not always work as well as commercial products or other natural remedies. For example, they may not be as effective at repelling certain insects or animals
  4. Environmental Concerns: Some people may have concerns about using coffee grounds for prevention due to environmental reasons. If you’re using large quantities of coffee grounds regularly, it could potentially contribute to excess waste or have negative effects on the environment
  5. Odor: Coffee grounds can have a strong, lingering odor. While this can be a positive aspect for some applications (such as deodorizing), it can be a drawback if you find the smell unpleasant or overpowering
  6. Staining: Coffee grounds have the potential to stain surfaces and fabrics. If not used carefully, they could leave unsightly stains that are difficult to remove
  7. Inconsistent Results: The effectiveness of coffee grounds can vary based on factors such as the type of coffee used, the application method, and the specific prevention goal. This inconsistency can make it challenging to rely on coffee grounds for consistent results

In summary, while coffee grounds can be a useful and eco-friendly option for certain preventive purposes, they may not always be the best choice, and their effectiveness can vary. It’s essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages carefully and consider alternative solutions when appropriate.

Alternative ways of keeping the squirrels away

Using coffee grounds is not the only way to deter squirrels. There are other ways of keeping squirrels away. You may try these if you want.

  • Natural Squirrel Repellent
  • Artificial Squirrel Repellent

Natural Squirrel Repellent

In natural Squirrel Repellent, you can put some flowering and spice plants in your house area. Garlic and onion can be the best friend of your vegetable garden to save vegetables. Squirrels do not like the smell around them. Other than the plants, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes can work too. Humans like the hot flavor of pepper flakes, but squirrels do not. You can spray out the hot pepper flakes around your plants with a spray bottle or bury some in the soil.

If you want to put in some flowering plants, then there are many varieties. Plant some Alliums, Daffodils, Fritillaries, Galanthus, Germaniums, Hyacinth, and Lily of the Valley. These are not only useful for squirrel deterrents but also good for other pests.

One thing to let you know, planting these does not mean saving your house area at all. These plants through squirrels out from a specific colony. Otherwise, you have to locate these all over your house area. You may use other deterrence for your house.

Artificial Squirrel Repellent

Artificial Squirrel Repellent includes both chemical and some non-chemical repellents. As non-chemical repellents, you can place some predator decoys in your yard. Decoys of hawks, owls, or scary animals can deter squirrels, including other animals. Some of these come with a noisemaker and sprayer. The smells and sounds are the same as predators. You have to move the decoys every few days to make squirrels believe.

As I already talked about, the spray is a chemical repellent. If you have installed bird feeders in your yard, then decoys can keep birds away too. You will not like this idea, am I right? So, you can buy spray bottles from your nearby market. These spray bottles can mimic the scent of enemies that squirrels hate most. This spray could be helpful too to deter rabbits, rats, and other animals.

If you have pets, then these artificial squirrel repellents may affect those too. You never want to make your pets afraid. Before using the Artificial repellent, check your priority and make a decision. Like what to use and where you should put the Artificial repellent. Make sure, you do not get affected by that.


  • Are There Any Plants That Squirrels Hate?

    Yes, there are many plants that squirrels hate. These include flowering and other plants too. Garlic, Onion, Alliums, Daffodils, Fritillaries, Galanthus, Germaniums, Hyacinth, Lily of the Valley, etc.

  • What Is The Best Time To Put Coffee Grounds To Keep Squirrels Away?

    There is no fixed time to apply coffee grounds in your garden or yard. If you face problems with squirrels, then utilize the grounds. You may need to put the grounds more frequently after every heavy rain. Rainwater can wash away coffee grounds. As a result, squirrels start coming to your house to meet you again.

  • Is It Good To Use Natural Only Pesticides In The Garden?

    Yes, it is good. Artificial pesticides can keep squirrels, insects, and other animals away. But if you use the chemical substance as deterrence, then the garden plants get affected by that.

  • Do Coffee Grounds Deter Rabbits?

    Yes. Rabbits also hate the smell of ground coffee. Not only squirrels and rabbits, but ants, snails, and slugs also hate the smell.

Final words

Squirrels may be sweet and cute animals, but they can make your home chaotic. It may damage your garden, pipes, wires, and any part of your house that is easy to bite. To keep them away from your loving home, you may use any repellents.

But, coffee grounds are so natural and eco-friendly. Using coffee grounds in your yard or garden not only works as a deterrent but also benefits the garden. It smells better around your house when you put it. So, it is wise to use coffee grounds as one of the best ways to keep squirrels away from your place.

Caution: Coffee grounds can affect birds, pets, and other good animals. It can increase heart rate, induce arrhythmias and hyperactivity, and even cause cardiac arrest in birds.

2 thoughts on “Do Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away?”

  1. You stated that coffee grounds are not harmful – however this is grossly incorrect.
    Caffeine can increase heart rate, induce arrhythmias and hyperactivity, and even cause cardiac arrest in birds. Please fact check whether or not it is harmful before advocating for it. You could have caused a lot of harm unknowingly.

    1. Thanks for indicating a very serious issue. However, this article never stated “coffee grounds are not harmful”, just opposite, we said “….. which is harmful to plants. …… Keep a careful look at your pets when you put coffee grounds………. pets may get sick due to excess dose.”
      But your comment helped us to think in new way, we have put an “Caution”.

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