Do Coffee Grounds Keep Chipmunks Away?

In cartoons, chipmunks are cute and adorable little creatures.

However, in everyday life, they can be pretty mischievous—chipmunks are recognized as rodents that can cause structural damage to your home, and also harm the roots of your plants.

If you are looking for a natural way to keep chipmunks at bay, coffee grounds could be your answer. Let’s find out how and why.

Can Coffee Grounds Keep Chipmunks Away?

It’s strange to think that a product many humans like to consume first thing in the morning is despised by chipmunks.

However, the answer is ‘yes’. Coffee grounds can keep chipmunks away from your yard and house. You can simply scatter some on the ground, so the chipmunks stay away.

The reason chipmunks dislike coffee grounds is the smell. They find it unbearable and avoid any areas where they can smell the pungent aroma.

Continue reading to find out more about how coffee grounds can help.

Reasons to Use Coffee Grounds

There are plenty of different ways that you can try to ensure that chipmunks and other rodents stay away from your house.

There are items like traps, services, and chemical sprays available that can provide quicker and more permanent solutions. So why try coffee grounds? Here are some reasons:


Pest control services can be expensive, and so are things like electronic devices for repelling rodents. Instead of spending money on these, it is better to start with an affordable option.

Coffee grounds are inexpensive and often will not cost you anything. Many coffee places are willing to share used coffee grounds with people who enjoy gardening.

In fact, they do not charge anything for it either. So, if you have a chipmunk problem, you can always hop over to a nearby cafe and ask them nicely for some used coffee grounds, and they may oblige. 

Pleasant Fragrance

There are probably very few people in the world who do not like the scent of coffee. Chemical sprays can smell awful and leave strange smells behind when you use them.

When using coffee grounds, you need not worry about this at all. Coffee grounds naturally smell very nice, and will leave your yard smelling pleasant.

Beneficial for Plants

Coffee beans are a natural component that comes from plants. This makes them rich in nutrients that are beneficial for plants.

Alternative commercial products have chemicals in them which can cause harm to the grass or plants around your house.

Hence it is better to use a natural repellent that is environmentally safe. Many people use coffee grounds in their compost because it can elevate the acidity in the soil.

This makes them a safe option to try and keep chipmunks away.

However, it is essential to note the same cannot be said for all plants. Some plants may do better without coffee grounds.

Remember to check the plants’ soil preferences before scattering coffee grounds in your yard.

Keeps Multiple Rodents Away

Coffee grounds are a great staple household item that will not only keep chipmunks away but also help you keep other rodents and pests at bay.

Coffee grounds work very well for rabbits, voles, slugs, ants, squirrels, etc. Since it is also a cheap alternative, it gives you multiple benefits, and your home and yard can be safe from dig-ups and rodents gnawing away at your harvest.

How to Use Coffee Grounds

There are several ways you can use coffee grounds. Here are some:


A lot of people do not compost, but it can be quite healthy for your plants.

Coffee grounds are an excellent material to make your compost. You must also add grass clippings, food scraps, dried leaves, and woodchips. 

When this material is scattered on the ground, the smell of coffee will keep rodents away. Remember to add 75% green material.

That said, make sure your coffee grounds are strong and carry a pungent smell that will overwhelm chipmunks and other rodents.


You can also use coffee grounds the same way mulch is used and scattered. In order to repel chipmunks, you must scatter and spread ½ to 1 inch of coffee beans around the plants.

It is crucial not to use more than the required amount since it can end up in a moldy mess that will harm you and the plants. 

Adding the right amount of coffee grounds will ensure the grounds get broken down by rain, soil microbes, and worms. 

Amendment in Soil

Another way to ensure coffee grounds keep rodents and pests away is to amend it directly in your soil. Many people prefer to add it directly to the solid when planting.

So instead of scattering on the top layer as mulch, you can mix and add it to the soil.

This way, your plants will benefit from the nutrients while also ensuring that rodents, such as chipmunks and squirrels, stay away. 

Remember that coffee grounds are not good for every plant. So do your research before you use it for every plant in your yard.

What are the Drawbacks of Using Coffee Grounds?

Coffee grounds may be a cheap and natural alternative, but that doesn’t make it the best. There are a few issues you should definitely consider before proceeding.

Not as Effective as Other Solutions

Coffee grounds have a strong smell, but a yard can be of different sizes. Furthermore, there are plenty of varying smells in the garden that can mask the coffee scent.

This can render the method ineffective at times. Although rodents avoid areas that smell like coffee, they can come and go as they please if it is subtle.

In such cases, it is better to try alternate solutions that are more helpful.

Can be Fatal for Animals

Coffee grounds can prove to be dangerous for pets. Some animals can react very badly to coffee. It does have to be a high dose. Still, it is better to be smart and avoid using materials that can harm life.

Animals have a natural tendency to smell or lick strange objects. It can be toxic if they accidentally inhale or swallow coffee grounds in large amounts.

Not a Permanent Solution

If you plan to use this method, it is essential to remember that this is not a permanent solution. You must use coffee grounds dedicatedly and regularly to ensure they repel rodents.

Coffee beans will lose their scent in harsh weather or even after regular rain. In order for this method to work, you must use coffee grounds regularly in your yard, especially if you are using them as mulch.

Other Ways to Keep Chipmunks Away

If coffee grounds are not working as well as you had hoped, you can try a few other methods to keep chipmunks at bay.

Here are a few safe alternatives you can try to keep chipmunks away from your home:


Putting up physical barriers, such as fences, sometimes works very well. However, it will not work if the fence doesn’t go deep underground.

You can incorporate finer mesh to ensure chipmunks can’t get through. It is better to use a sturdier material than regular chicken wire.

This will make it challenging for them and other rodents to form burrows.

Predator Statues

Another safe way to keep rodents and pests away is to place statues of predatory animals that frighten these creatures.

You may find it odd, but naturally, chipmunks or any other animal will stay away from areas where they spot danger. 

They will not be able to decipher whether the statue is real, nor will they come close for inspection.

Hence, making it an excellent way to keep them from entering your property.

Plant Herbs

Chipmunks dislike strong smells. There are plenty of herbs that you can plant, which will keep them at bay.

Herbs like oregano, basil, and rosemary are an excellent option to add to your yard.

Not only will they help you deter chipmunks, but they will also ensure you have flavorful and aromatic herbs to add to your dishes.

Another plant that chipmunks dislike is lavender. They do not like the scent of the flowers and avoid coming near them. 

The Takeaway

Chipmunks can destroy the structure of your home, and they can also damage your plants by digging around in your garden and gnawing at the roots.

It is essential to get rid of these rodents, so the foundations of your house are safe, and so are your plants.

You can use coffee grounds to deter chipmunks and many other animals. Additionally, using coffee grounds will keep your plants healthy and is an inexpensive solution to a big problem.

That said, coffee grounds can sometimes be ineffective, and you must use them regularly to ensure rodents and pests stay away from your yard and house.

You can always try a post or rodent control service if you feel the problem is getting out of hand.

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