Squirrels can be pesky creatures, and not only can they wreak havoc on your yard, but also on your home’s foundation. Preventing these critters from causing damage can be challenging, but did you ever try using your leftover coffee grounds?
Many sources say that using coffee grounds is an effective way to deter squirrels. So do coffee grounds keep squirrels away? Find out here in this complete guide.
Will Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away?
As it turns out, squirrels hate coffee grounds! It’s the smell they dislike, and for this reason, using coffee grounds (especially those with a strong odor) can be useful for deterring squirrels from your yard. However, coffee grounds alone may not be enough, and you may have to call for additional help from a local pest removal company.
So to answer "do coffee grounds repel squirrels?" the answer is yes. Used coffee grounds can help to minimize a squirrel infestation, or keep squirrels from the area altogether.
Why Use Coffee Grounds?
Now that you know that coffee grounds can in fact help to keep squirrels away, the next question is, why use them? There are many different recommended methods for getting rid of squirrels (more on that later), so why use coffee grounds as your go-to method? Here are a few reasons:
How To Use Coffee Grounds To Deter Squirrels
Before dumping a whole tin of coffee grounds in your yard, there are a few things you should know about how to properly use them as a squirrel deterrent.
You can use either fresh or used coffee grounds, and it doesn’t matter if it’s regular or decaf, light or dark roasted, etc. Since coffee grounds degrade and are only a temporary solution, it’s best to use them frequently if you’re dealing with a squirrel problem. They work as a natural pesticide for both insects and animals, but only if you use them regularly and in the right way.
When scattering the grounds in your yard, the main thing to remember is that squirrels will avoid the areas that smell of coffee. But that doesn’t mean you need to go overboard with the amount of coffee you use. It’s best to layer the ground or potted plants with ½” to 1” of coffee; anything more than this can attract too much water and lead to a mold problem, which can be harmful to plants and animals.
Focus on areas that squirrels like to spend the most time in, like around bird feeders or trees that produce nuts. Start out by spreading coffee in your yard 1x per week, and increase it to once every few days if you notice the problem persisting.
Disadvantages Of Using Coffee Grounds
As is the case with any pest control method, there are a few minor drawbacks to using coffee grounds for repelling squirrels.
First off, this is only a temporary solution. You can’t expect to scatter coffee grounds in your garden once and have squirrels gone forever. If this is the method you opt for, then it’s best to keep up with it by regularly incorporating coffee into your yard or garden. Luckily, there’s not that much work involved, especially when you compare it to other squirrel repellent options.
Another thing to be mindful of is that a large volume of coffee grounds can pose a danger to pets. Coffee in large doses can cause caffeine toxicity in pets, and VCA says that “caffeine raises blood pressure and causes cardiac arrhythmias, which can be dangerous. Pets may also lose muscle control and have tremors or seizures.”
If your pet roams around the yard, you may want to skip this deterrent method. If you do choose to use coffee, just make sure to layer the grounds in layers thinner than 1”, and keep an eye on your pets.
Other Ways To Keep A Squirrel Away
There are several natural as well as chemical-based squirrel deterrents to choose from. While coffee is one of the easiest to use and most natural options, you may want to consider these methods as well:
There are several different sprays on the market that are designed to mimic the scent of squirrels’ natural predators. Most of them are effective after you’ve sprayed the perimeter of your yard or squirrel-infested area, but similar to coffee, these can be toxic to animals and pets in large doses.
Using a decoy predator, such as a statue of an owl or a hawk, can be a great defense against squirrels. If a squirrel sees an owl (even if it's a fake one), it probably won't stick around for very long.
Ultrasonic Animal Repellent
Ultrasonic devices are non-toxic pest deterrents. Although they can be pricey, they work by emitting certain frequencies that squirrels and other animals aren’t fond of. Most of them even come with the option to adjust the frequency based on the pests you’re trying to target.
Red Pepper Flakes
If you’re looking for another all-natural pesticide that works similarly to coffee grounds, you might consider using red pepper flakes. Just like coffee, squirrels don’t like the smell of red pepper, mainly because of the capsaicin that it contains. Capsaicin serves as an irritant to squirrels, so they generally try to avoid it.
Plants That Can Repel Squirrels
There are certain plants that squirrels dislike, such as Geraniums, Lily of the Valley, Daffodils, and Hyacinth. Adding garlic or onion plants to your garden can also be effective, but keep in mind that the squirrels will only avoid areas that are directly surrounding these plants.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What other animals can be deterred by coffee grounds?
Hunker says that using coffee as a repellent can be effective for getting rid of many unwanted animals and insects, and that
“the smell of the coffee repels snails, slugs and ants. You may also have success using coffee grounds to repel mammals, including cats, rabbits and deer.”
When is the best time of day to put out coffee grounds?
You can add coffee grounds to your yard or garden at any time of day or night, but it’s best to keep tabs on the weather forecast. Avoid putting them out before a big rainfall or windy weather; rain and wind can scatter them and render them useless.
Do coffee grounds act as a natural pesticide?
Yes. The NY Times says that caffeine is a natural insecticide.
According to this source,
“caffeine and related compounds are potent, natural insecticides that help plants ward off damaging pests.” One researcher even says that “plants have developed certain defenses to protect themselves against insects, and we suspected that caffeine might have been present for that purpose - as a natural insecticide…”
Will coffee grounds hurt squirrels?
As long as you use coffee grounds properly as a natural repellent, they should not cause any harm to squirrels. Squirrels simply don’t like the smell of coffee, so the most likely scenario when using them is that squirrels and other pests will stay away from the area.
Can putting coffee grounds in window sills deter squirrels?
Yes. Many people have potted plants in their window sills, so to keep squirrels away, try layering about ½” of grounds in the potting soil. Avoid thick layers, though; this can create mold that is harmful to plants.
So to answer the question, do used coffee grounds deter squirrels?, the answer is yes. If you choose to use coffee grounds to keep squirrels away, just make sure to follow our tips on how to do so safely.