The small to medium-sized rodents that are squirrels are ubiquitous in all sorts of places around the world.
In fact, the only places you won’t see them are in the vast polar regions and in very arid places.
These aren’t all the same type of squirrel, however, but they can all be pests in the wrong location.
Though lots of squirrels live in rural environments like woodland and forests, many are synanthropic and thrive from being near people and urban areas.
Lots of people love having squirrels around their homes and in their gardens but many don’t.
When squirrels become a pest, you might try thinking of ways of keeping them away. Lots of people even ask do coffee grounds keep squirrels away?
The short and quick answer to this question is yes, you can use coffee grounds to keep squirrels away. The main reason this works is that squirrels hate them. As such, they can work as a natural pesticide. So, one way to deal with your leftover coffee grounds is to use them to ward off squirrels!
In this article, we’ll talk in more detail about why squirrels can be a garden pest and why coffee grounds work in deterring them from causing a nuisance.
Read on to find out more.
Why Do Squirrels Like Gardens and Urban Environments?
Before we go into how to deter squirrels, we need to understand why they like coming into our gardens in the first place.
There are several reasons why squirrels have wandered into urban areas and our gardens. One big reason for this is due to deforestation.
When woodland and forest are removed, the squirrels lose their natural habitat and seek somewhere to replicate where they once lived.
This means that they’ll often migrate to the closest urban area where food and shelter are plentiful. Private homes, towns, and cities are, therefore, attractive to squirrels as the shelter and food are often easily accessible.
In terms of food, urban areas tend to have crop fields and gardens with large numbers of seeds and plants.
You’ll often find bird feeders, which squirrels love too. Sometimes, people don’t realize they’re inviting squirrels into their gardens.
If you have a bird feeder or backyard chickens, squirrels will see this as an open invitation and will keep coming back for more.
As for shelter, squirrels require safe, quiet, and dark places to nest and hide from other predators. Sheds, basements, and roofs are all appealing. For this reason, squirrels can become pests in the home.
When they do inhabit our homes, they can cause significant damage to the home’s infrastructure and installations. They can also be a health risk.
How Much Can Squirrels Damage Gardens and Property?
Squirrels are curious animals and will explore things out of interest. This means they can cause a lot of damage to your vegetable garden or your home.
Typically, squirrels will dig into the earth to bury and save their food for the cooler months when it is not so plentiful. They’ll also store food in other areas like secretive areas of your home or tree holes.
When squirrels are trying to hide their food, they can damage your home and garden. When digging, they can cause damage to bulbs and plant roots, and they might even decide to tuck into the vegetables in your kitchen garden.
Unfortunately, squirrels will remember where food sources are, which means they’ll stick close by to come back for more. This means that they might nest in your attic, crawl space, eaves, and basement.
While they won’t damage their own nesting sites, in the process of finding them and creating them, they might damage your wooden interior, shingles, wiring, and insulation.
When squirrels come into the home, they can carry diseases. These diseases pose a risk to family pets. Even children and adults can become ill by diseases carried by squirrels.
How to Identify if Squirrels Are Causing Damage to Your Garden or Home.
If you know what to look for, you’ll know whether or not you have a problem with squirrels in your garden. These are some things to look out for:
- Your lawn is damaged by what looks like digging.
- You might see big trees with stripped bark.
- Flowering plants or vegetables might be uprooted.
- You might find split nutshells, fruits, and chips of food scattered around.
- You might notice damage and chew marks on your wooden interior, walls, and wiring.
- You might find a nest in a quiet place like the shingles, roof, or insulation.
- You might notice garbage bags are torn.
- The hosepipe or air vents might be damaged.
- You might see damage to bird feeders or pet feeders.
Using Coffee Grounds to Prevent Damage.
As previously mentioned, coffee grounds are excellent to repel squirrels and prevent damage to your home and garden. You can use any coffee grounds and it doesn’t matter if it’s decaffeinated coffee or regular coffee.
Don’t waste money putting down fresh coffee grounds, simply keep the used coffee grounds from when you’ve made coffee!
You’ll need to replace the coffee grounds frequently to keep on deterring squirrels, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you already drink coffee at home!
If you’re not a regular coffee drinker, ask your local coffee shop to supply you with some for this purpose. It’s likely they’ll be pleased as it will save them having to dispose of this waste.
How to Use Coffee Grounds to Deter Squirrels.
You might be wondering how to use them; do you just sprinkle a small amount, or do you need lots? Let’s explore this:
- Put between half an inch and one inch on top of the garden soil;
- Spread coffee grounds around the stems of potted plants;
- Put more coffee grounds where you see the most squirrel damage;
- Spread a large number of coffee grounds around your bird feeders;
- Add more coffee grounds at least once per week, but every few days if you get a lot of wind and rain;
- Put coffee grounds into your compost heap (but be mindful of how much as this could mess up the ph levels of the compost.
You shouldn’t put too much of a thick layer of coffee grounds on your soil because this could produce harmful molds that might damage your plants. What’s more, the excess coffee could also damage the plants.
Also, if you have pets, be careful of them eating coffee grounds. The last thing you need is a hyperactive or sick pet on your hands!
Which Other Animals Does This Work For?
As well as squirrels, coffee grounds work at deterring slugs, chipmunks, and even deer! You can use them around your home and on your roof to deter annoying animals.
Why Are Coffee Grounds Good Deterrents?
Coffee grounds act as a natural pesticide. Not just for squirrels but for other annoying animals and insects that damage plants and structures. Squirrels will avoid anywhere where you’ve placed coffee grounds. Simply scatter them where you don’t want squirrels to dig. If it rains quite a lot, you’ll have to replace the coffee grounds more frequently.
Many people look at cost-effective ways to deter pests and coffee grounds are available for free! Yes, you can buy other artificial or even natural deterrents but coffee grounds will cost nothing. What’s more, they have other beneficial properties too. These include:
- The natural fragrance.
- Their compostability.
- They won’t cause damage.
What Other Ways Are There of Deterring Squirrels?
Coffee grounds aren’t the only squirrel deterrent. You can get artificial squirrel repellents and natural squirrel repellents too.
Artificial Squirrel Repellents.
These come in non-chemical and chemical forms. Non-chemical repellents are usually squirrel predator decoys that use the sounds of animal predators like owls and hawks. They can also come with a spray that has the same scent as a squirrel predator. To be believable, these deterrents need to be moved around frequently.
The problem with these artificial decoys is that they might also keep birds from coming into your garden too, which you might not like!
Natural Ways To Repel Squirrels.
If you want to deter squirrels more naturally, there are other things that work. Spice plants inside mean squirrels will be less likely to enter your home. In your garden, onion and garlic plants are also a deterrent because they don’t like the smell.
Other things that might work include hot pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. You can bury them in the soil or put them into a spray bottle with some water and then spray the solution around your plants.
Home-made pepper spray can also be very effective. You can make this easily by mixing up 1 gallon of water, 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and a small bottle of hot pepper sauce.
This hot pepper spray mixture can be poured into a spray bottle and be quite effective if you are having a squirrel infestation in your garden.
Plants that squirrels don’t like include daffodils, geraniums, Galanthus, fritillaries, lily of the valley, hyacinth, and alliums. These are great squirrel deterrents and will also keep other pests away too.
If squirrels are causing you problems and you’re a coffee drinker, you have everything you need to deter them from certain areas of your garden and home.
If you don’t drink a lot of coffee, try your local coffee shop and see if they will supply you with a bag of used coffee grounds for free.
Deterring squirrels with coffee grounds means you are actively using a waste product for a specific purpose, which is great for the environment.