Do Coffee Grounds Repel Voles [We Explain!]

do coffee grounds repel voles

If you have a garden, you may have encountered voles at some point. These tiny rodents can cause a lot of damage to your plants and vegetables, and they can be a pain in the butt to get rid of!

Do coffee grounds repel voles? Yes, coffee grounds do repel voles due to the caffeine in coffee. Caffeine is toxic to voles, but don’t worry about using it as the amount needed to hurt a vole can’t be found in coffee.

In this post, we’ll look at the science behind using coffee grounds as a vole repellent and provide some tips for incorporating them into your garden pest control strategy.

What Are Voles and Why Are They a Problem in Gardens?

Voles, are tiny little rodents that can easily be mistaken for a mouse. I’ve often heard people also refer to them as meadow mice or field mice, they’re all the same thing.

They have short, stocky bodies, small ears, and blunt noses; I find them quite cute, to be honest! Voles are found throughout much of the United States and are active year-round.

In gardens, voles cause most of their damage by gnawing on the roots and stems of plants and vegetables. They may also burrow under plants and create tunnels, weakening them and making them more susceptible to disease. 

If voles become a nuisance in your garden, you need to act quickly as they reproduce rapidly. Taking proper steps now can save you from dealing with an unmanageable infestation later!

Do Coffee Grounds Repel Voles?

Coffee grounds are recognized as a legitimate vole repellent, but the efficiency of this method may differ from gardener to gardener. Quite a few green thumbs praise coffee grounds for keeping voles away, while some have experienced less favorable results.

Personally, I’ve had a good amount of success using coffee grounds, and I recommend using them to my clients.

One reason for the varying results may be that coffee grounds alone may not be a strong enough deterrent for voles. Voles are attracted to a variety of foods, including seeds, nuts, and roots, so the smell of coffee grounds alone may not deter them.

That being said, some scientific evidence suggests that coffee grounds can be an effective vole repellent. 

Coffee grounds contain caffeine, which has been shown to be toxic to voles in high doses. Caffeine can interfere with the vole’s metabolism and nervous system, leading to death.

However, the amount of caffeine needed to be lethal to voles is much higher than what is typically found in coffee grounds, so you don’t need to worry about killing them!

Despite the negligible amount of caffeine in coffee grounds, the aroma of coffee may be enough to repel voles. Numerous studies have indicated that voles are less likely to enter areas with a strong scent of coffee wafting through the air. Not only does this pungent smell mask other foods’ aromas and make them unappealing, but it is also an effective deterrent against vole infestation.

How to Use Coffee Grounds to Repel Voles

If you fancy giving coffee grounds a go as a vole repellent, here are some of our tips for incorporating them into your garden pest control strategy:

  1. Sprinkle some coffee grounds all around the edge of your garden. Voles tend to stay close to the edges of gardens, so focusing on the boundary may be more effective than trying to cover the entire garden.
  2. Mix coffee grounds with other vole repellents. Some gardeners have successfully used coffee grounds in combination with other natural repellents, such as hot pepper flakes or human hair.
  3. Use coffee grounds as a deterrent in specific areas. If you have a problem with voles in a particular spot in your garden, try sprinkling coffee grounds around the affected area.
  4. Renew the coffee grounds regularly. The effectiveness of coffee grounds as a vole repellent may diminish over time, so renewing them regularly is important.
  5. Consider using coffee grounds in combination with other pest control methods. While coffee grounds may be a natural and effective method for deterring voles, they may not be a complete solution. It’s a good idea to use a combination of methods, including physical barriers, traps, and chemical repellents, to control the vole population in your garden effectively.
  6. Make sure to use fresh coffee grounds. Old, stale coffee grounds may not be as effective at deterring voles as fresh ones. Using grounds that come from regular coffee beans is also important, as decaffeinated coffee grounds may not have the same deterrent effect.

Other Tips for Controlling Voles in Your Garden

Coffee grounds can effectively deter voles from your garden, but there are a few other steps you can take to keep their numbers at bay.

  1. Keep grass and weeds trimmed. Voles thrive in areas with tall grass and weeds, so maintaining a well-manicured lawn and garden can help deter them.
  2. Use physical barriers. Voles can dig under fences, so using wire mesh or other types of barriers can help keep them out of your garden.
  3. Use traps. Several types of traps can be used to catch and kill voles. Some options include snap traps, cage traps, and live traps.
  4. Use chemical repellents. There are a number of chemical repellents on the market that are designed to deter voles. These products can be effective, but they may also be toxic to other animals, so use caution when applying them.

Here’s an awesome video on how coffee grounds repel moles, it also works for voles!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What smell keeps voles away?

A few plants and oils have been said to have a strong, unpleasant smell that may help to repel voles. Some options to consider include the following:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Castor oil
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Human Hair
  • Predator urine (such as fox or bobcat urine)

It’s critical to remember that the success of these tactics may differ, and there is no foolproof way to prevent voles entirely. In some cases, a mixture of approaches might be needed in order to fend off these pesky critters successfully.

What is the fastest way to get rid of voles?

The most efficient way to rid yourself of pesky voles is through trapping. There are two options available: snap traps and live traps. Snap traps provide an immediate solution, while live ones allow you the chance to relocate them humanely away from your property.

Either way, these trap methods have proven effective in exterminating vole infestations quickly and efficiently.


Harnessing the power of coffee grounds can be a potent and successful approach to keeping voles out of your garden. While results may differ, the strong aroma of coffee will likely be enough to repel them.

To get the best results, use coffee grounds in combination with other pest control methods and make sure to renew them regularly.

With a vigilant mindset towards voles, you can safeguard your garden and keep these pesky pests away before they start reproducing!!

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