Will Coffee Grounds Keep Chipmunks Away? (Ways To Repel)

Chipmunks are cute. They are tiny little creatures that scamper and dash around. They have adorable stripes, and their tiny feet are like small human hands. Most of all, they can squeeze a lot of nuts in their tiny cheeks.

There's no denying that these critters are adorable. But no matter how cute these rodents are (yes, they are rodents!), they can be problematic and create structural damages in your home.  

If you don’t like them near your home, you’re not alone. In this article, we will answer the common question about deterring chipmunks: “will coffee grounds keep chipmunks away?” We will also discuss other ways on how to protect your home from these rodents.  

While we love the taste and smell of coffee, most animals can't stand its smell, including chipmunks. This is why coffee grounds can make an excellent barrier to keep chipmunks away.

All you have to do is sprinkle them on the ground, and they can help deter these rodents. Since most rodents are close to the ground, sprinkling coffee on it will help keep them away.  

You can also sprinkle the coffee grounds around your garden and in between your plants. Apart from keeping chipmunks and other rodents at bay, they are also excellent compost. If you don’t have coffee grounds, your local Starbucks or other cafes will likely give you free bags of coffee grounds.  

Sprinkling coffee grounds in your garden is a win-win approach. Not only can you keep chipmunks and other rodents aways, but you can fertilize your solid and keep your plants healthy.  

Do Coffee Grounds Keep Chipmunks Away?

Why Use Coffee Grounds? 

While there are other things you can use, such as putting up a fence, to keep chipmunks away from your home, coffee can be one of the best options you can use. Here are some of the reasons why:  

  • Inexpensive
    Even if you don’t consume coffee at home, your neighborhood coffee shops, or even Starbucks, can give coffee grounds away for free. 
  • Great compost and offer benefits for some plants
    Coffee grounds can be an excellent compost for your garden. They are highly acidic, and many plants thrive from their acidity. So by spreading them near these plants, you are helping them to grow. However, be sure to check the plant’s soil preferences before spreading them near it because some plants will do worse with coffee grounds. 
  • Fragrance
    Compared to other deterrents, coffee has a nicer smell and produces a great aroma. 
  • Keep other animals away
    Apart from chipmunks, coffee grounds can also deter other animals such as squirrels, deers, and even slugs. 
coffee grounds from bean

How To Successfully Use Coffee Grounds To Deter Chipmunks 

There are a few ways to use coffee grounds to keep chipmunks away from your home. Here are some of them:  


One way to use coffee grounds to deter chipmunks and other rodents is to use them as compost. If you don't compost, maybe it's time to consider starting. You can begin by mixing green materials, such as grass clippings and food scraps, with brown material, such as dried leaves, wood chips, and straws. The coffee grounds will be considered green materials.  

Apart from that, you can also throw in your coffee filters, if you use them, in the compost as brown materials. Remember, when making compost, make sure that there are more green materials, around 75%, and lesser brown materials, or else it will throw off the balance of the whole compost.  


Coffee grounds can also be used as mulch to repel chipmunks from your garden and home. All you have to do is pile ½ to 1 inch of coffee grounds around your plants, but be sure not to use more than that.

Otherwise, you’ll be left with a moldy, disgusting pile. On the other hand, if you use the right amount, the grounds will be quickly broken down by the rain, worms, and soil microbes. Furthermore, adding a layer of coffee ground on the top of your sonic will also deter slugs from your garden.  

Soil Amendment 

Apart from using it as compost and mulch to keep chipmunks away, you can amend it directly into your soil. You can do so by adding it to the solid when you initially put the plants in your garden or mixing it with the soli rather than putting it on the top layer like a mulch.

Then, your plants will be very pleased with the nutrients they’ll get from the coffee, and chipmunks will not go into your home.  

chipmunk coffee beans

Disadvantages Of Using Coffee Grounds 

While coffee grounds offer many other benefits apart from keeping chipmunks away, they may have some downsides. Here are some of them:  

  • Temporary fix
    You need to replenish the coffee grounds for them to be effective frequently. It can also be easily washed away when it rains. 
  • Effectiveness
    Compared to other deterrents, coffee grounds may not be as effective for keeping chipmunks and other rodents away. 
  • Dangerous to pets
    If you have pets at homes like dogs and cats, you may want to keep them away from coffee grounds. In large amounts, coffee grounds can be toxic and fatal to your pets. 

Other Ways To Keep The Chipmunks Away 

If coffee grounds are not a viable option to use to keep chipmunks away, don’t worry. Other ways can keep them at bay, and you can choose below which one suits your situation best:  


The most obvious way to deter chipmunks is to put up a physical barrier around your home. However, the fence should have a finer mesh than the standard chicken wire and should be buried in the ground of the perimeter to keep chipmunks away and discourage them from their burrowing habits.  

Eliminate Food Waste Source 

If you keep your food waste outside your home or somewhere easily accessible to chipmunks, you will keep attracting them. To deter these rodents, make sure that there are no food waste sources in or outside your home. 

Plastic Predators 

This may seem like an odd way, but putting replicas of owls and coyotes in your garden or around your house can do the trick and scare chipmunks away.  

Garlic And Hot Sauce 

Rodents don’t like strong-smelling spices, including hot sauce and garlic. Simply mash ten garlic cloves, a cup of hot sauce, and a pint of vinegar. Allow it to sit under the sun for a couple of days and apply it to the base of your plants with a hand spray. This will keep chipmunks away, and if they still try to eat your vegetables, they quickly turn away and seek food that does not taste as harsh. 

Plant Various Herbs 

Various herbs can help deter chipmunks, including sage, oregano, basil, and rosemary. For example, sage has a strong smell, and aromatic herbs, such as oregano, basil, and rosemary, can repel them. Apart from that, you can use these herbs for cooking your favorite dishes. Furthermore, lavender can also help keep rodents away. While humans love lavender fragrance, chipmunks and other rodents hate its smell. 

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What smells do chipmunks hate? 

Chipmunks and other rodents hate the smell of herbs and spices. For example, garlic and hot sauce mixture can keep them away, as well as aromatic herbs like oregano and sage. They also hate the smell of peppermint.  

Will vinegar keep chipmunks away? 

Yes, vinegar has a strong smell that can help chipmunks away. You can use apple cider vinegar and spray it around your plants, as it won’t cause any harm. Apart from that, you can also mix it with hot sauce and garlic, as mentioned above.  

Will cinnamon get rid of chipmunks? 

Cinnamon is also an aromatic herb, and it can deter chipmunks. Just sprinkle some into your garden or where chipmunks usually go in your home.  

Can I use any type of coffee grinds for repelling chipmunks? 

Any type of coffee grind will work for repelling chipmunks. It doesn’t matter what kind of roast you have; the smell of coffee alone can deter these rodents.  


No need to wonder whether coffee can keep chipmunks away; as mentioned above, they can be used to keep them at bay, and they can offer other benefits as well. However, be aware of their downsides, especially when using them for your plants, as some plants may react negatively to them.