Do Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away?

Animated movies may have made squirrels look sweet and adorable, but the reality is different. Squirrels can create havoc in your yard and can also damage the foundations of your house.

Some people like to use coffee grounds to keep them away, but does it really work?

Let’s find out.

Does Using Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away?

Squirrels dislike the smell of coffee grounds which is why they try to stay away from it. Hence you can use coffee grounds that have an intense aroma to keep squirrels at bay from your yard.

You may also be able to repel a few other animals that might raid your yard. That said, you must note that coffee grounds have pros and cons.

Let’s discuss using coffee grounds for keeping squirrels away in detail.

How Can Coffee Grounds Be Used to Keep Squirrels Away?

It is essential to note that coffee grounds are a temporary solution. It may keep squirrels at bay for some time, but you might have to call reinforcements if they persist.

You can scatter coffee grounds in areas where the squirrels usually show up. You need not go overboard when scattering. Since they are natural repellents, the slight smell will keep squirrels away.

Squirrels will likely be in your yard around the trees that bear nuts or around bird feeders if you have them.

½” to 1” is enough coffee to scatter in pots or on the ground. Coffee grounds can attract water which might give rise to a mold problem.

You can use coffee grounds once a week. If you notice that the squirrels come back, you can increase it to a few more times in the week.

If the problems persist, you must consider calling a pest control service to get rid of the squirrels that keep returning despite your efforts.

Pros of Using Coffee Grounds

You might be wondering why you should use coffee grounds instead of calling pest control in the first place.

So, let’s discuss the pros of using coffee grounds:

An Inexpensive Option

Calling a pest control service will cost you money. Coffee is probably already on your grocery list for your indulgence. Even if it is not, it is an affordable tool to keep squirrels away.

Moreover, once you have solved your problem, it need not go to waste. You can use it for cooking or give it to a coffee loving friend.

Additionally, used coffee grounds are also fine to utilize for this purpose, so there is no need to buy extra coffee just so you can scatter it in your yard.

They Smell Great

There is no denying the fact that coffee smells great. Using a spray or calling pest control will definitely not leave your yard smelling this great.

Other deterrents won’t smell as good as coffee grounds since coffee is naturally fragrant.

Beneficial for Plants

Some plants need the acidity that coffee grounds can offer. It helps them grow and flourish, making grounds an excellent source of nutrients as well.

Hence, coffee grounds are great composts and can keep your plants healthy.

Natural Deterrent for Animals

Squirrels aren’t the only animals that dislike coffee. Coffee grounds scattered in your yard will deter critters and even deers.

Since it is an inexpensive option, you can use it to keep multiple animals away without having to spend too much.

Cons of Using Coffee Grounds

Even though there are several good reasons for using coffee grounds, you should consider whether it is a practical solution for you before embarking on the journey.

Here are a few things you must consider before you try coffee grounds to keep squirrels away from your yard:

Temporary Solution

Coffee grounds aren’t a permanent solution. Using them once will not help you get rid of the creatures once and for all.

If the problem persists at the same level or becomes an infestation, eventually, you have to consider a permanent solution.

If you have a busy life and do not want to waste your time on a temporary solution, you can find another solution that will help you get rid of the squirrels for a longer time, if not permanently.

Can be Lethal for Pets

Coffee contains caffeine which can be toxic for pets.

In case your pet accidentally swallows the scattered coffee grounds in large quantities, they might get high blood pressure or get cardiac arrhythmias which are lethal.

In addition to this, your pet may also go through tremors, seizures, or lose control of muscles. Your pet cat or dog could suffer because of a natural instinct to smell or lick.


As mentioned, it is a temporary solution. Furthermore, you will have to make it a regular practice to scatter coffee grounds in your yard.

Moreover, coffee grounds are not as effective as other deterrents or ways of keeping squirrels away. Hence, they require more effort, like replacing the coffee grounds regularly.

If your region goes through different weather changes every few days, factors such as too much sunlight, wind or rain will also render your coffee grounds ineffective, and you will have to scatter them more than just once a week.

What Kind of Coffee Grounds Can Be Used to Keep Squirrels Away?

Even though it has some serious cons, if you don’t have a pet, you can still use coffee grounds if you are willing to follow the easiest and most inexpensive solution out there.

A great thing about this method is that you need not spend a penny on it. You can also try used coffee grounds because they work just as well.

It also does not matter if your coffee is decaffeinated or regular. Any coffee grounds will work for this purpose.

If you don’t drink coffee, you can go to any coffee shop and ask them for their used coffee grounds, and most will be happy to hand it over so you can utilize the coffee waste.

Which Other Animals Will Stay Away If You Use Coffee Grounds?

Coffee grounds have a strong smell that many animals despise. Hence, squirrels aren’t the only animals you will keep away; you can use it to repel other creatures such as snails, slugs, and ants.

In fact, it is not just useful for these critters. Coffee grounds will also keep rabbits and deer away from your yard.

It might be a temporary solution, but it is a great option for keeping away multiple creatures. 

Will Using Coffee Grounds Hurt Squirrels?

No, coffee grounds do not hurt squirrels. The fragrance is enough to keep the squirrels away.

The squirrels will stay away from the area where they smell it. They are not likely to consume it.

Are There Other Ways to Keep Squirrels Away?

Perhaps you have tried coffee grounds, which haven’t worked so well. Or maybe it has become a daily task to scatter coffee grounds in your yard. It is time to find a different solution.

Here are a few things you can try to keep squirrels away if coffee grounds aren’t working:


There are several chemical variants of repellent sprays available in the market. They can quickly help you get rid of your squirrel problem.

However, it is essential to note that these sprays are toxic and can harm animals, including your pets, when used too frequently.

However, you can use a natural way to keep animals away from your yard.

Squirrel Predator Decoys

Predatory birds can keep squirrels away from your yard. You can install statues of such birds in your yards, and the squirrels will be too scared to come anywhere near your space.

This will also work for other creatures, such as mice and rabbits.

Ultrasound Animal Repellent

Another non-violent way to get rid of squirrels is to invest in an ultrasound animal repellent. There are certain frequencies that are only audible to some animals.

That said, it is definitely costlier than the coffee grounds. However, the device is an effective option for keeping squirrels away from your yard.

Squirrel Repelling Plants

Coffee grounds aren’t the only thing squirrels dislike. They also are not great fans of certain plants and keep away from them as much as possible.

Daffodils, Lily of the Valley, Hyacinth, and Geraniums are some plants that squirrels stay away from. It is essential to note that squirrels will only try to avoid the areas where these plants are placed.

They may still come to the yard and sneak into other places.

Scatter Red Pepper Flakes

Scattering red pepper flakes in place of coffee grounds is another natural way to keep these creatures away. Red peppers contain capsaicin which acts as an irritant for the squirrels.

Hence, they try to avoid it just like coffee grounds.

The Final Takeaway

The fragrance of coffee beans can keep squirrels at bay. In fact, it will help keep a few other animals away too.

Coffee grounds are inexpensive, a good source of nutrients for your plants and will make your yard smell great.

That said, it is essential not to forget that coffee grounds provide a temporary solution, and you must keep using them in your yard to ensure squirrels stay away.

Remember, they are not an ideal solution if you have pets.