Do Coffee Grounds Repel Ants? The Best Ways

Ants are one of the creatures on the list of insects that often attack plants. Ants have a habit of living in large groups in many areas. Therefore, the influence of this species is extremely large on plants. Ants can attack the roots, and nest in the soil to prevent plants from absorbing nutrients and water from the soil.

In particular, ants can attack the stems of plants and cause them to empty their intestines, then die from wilting. Therefore, killing ants is always a keyword that many gardeners have searched for on the forums recently. Do coffee grounds repel ants? How to effectively kill ants? Let’s find the detailed information in this article.

Do Coffee Grounds Repel Ants?

For centuries, gardeners have used coffee grounds as a natural fertilizer. However, another great use of coffee grounds that you may not be aware of is repelling ants. Ants love foods like sugar and honey. In fact, ground coffee contains a relatively large amount of sugar and oil. Therefore, ants will be attracted to areas with coffee, especially coffee machine areas.

Coffee grounds contain up to 2% nitrogen, acidity, and caffeine. Coffee grounds can attract ants because of their acidity and strong odor. However, caffeine is the ingredient that makes ants hurt when they inhale or eat coffee grounds. The strong and strong smell of coffee grounds will be disorienting in identifying food areas in the space.

Using coffee grounds to repel ants is one of the most environmentally friendly methods. The reason is that coffee is a plant-based product, without chemicals or substances that are dangerous to the health of humans and animals. What’s more, acidic and high-nitrogen coffee grounds also become a natural fertilizer for plants.

Many gardeners have used coffee grounds as a natural fertilizer around the base of plants. Besides, coffee grounds are also effective in preventing the attack of ants on the base of plants. There are many plants that love to fertilize with coffee grounds such as roses, tulips or daffodils. The reason is that coffee grounds contain a large amount of nitrogen, so it will stimulate plant growth.

However, for plants that prefer a dry environment, you should not use coffee grounds to fertilize. In addition, the abuse of fertilizer with too many coffee grounds will also harm the health of plants. If you apply too much coffee grounds to the roots of plants, when the coffee grounds rot, beneficial organisms in the soil such as earthworms will be poisoned or affect health due to too much content.

You should also regularly reclaim used soil to create a physical and chemical barrier against ants. New and improved soil will help plants better absorb water and nutrients. Too much coffee grounds when saturated in the soil can kill earthworms and good bacteria. Therefore, you need to use enough and not abuse coffee grounds to fertilize the soil.

Do coffee grounds repel ants

How To Kill Ants With Coffee Grounds?

Coffee grounds can repel ants due to their strong scent and acidity. However, to completely destroy ants, using coffee grounds is not enough. You need to combine coffee grounds with some other ingredients to form a mixture like an ant killer.

The usual way to repel ants is to sprinkle coffee grounds in lines to prevent the ants from moving into the house or around the base of plants. When the ants collide with the coffee grounds, they will either immediately leave or change direction to avoid the strong scent of the coffee grounds. If you want to kill ants, apply some recipes when using the coffee grounds below.

Diatomaceous Earth And Coffee Grounds

Diatomaceous earth and coffee grounds are a perfect combination to repel and kill ants that attack your home or garden. This mixture can kill carpenter ants and pharaoh ants to pavement ants. Because of this, many gardeners regularly use diatomaceous earth as an additive to mix with coffee grounds to kill ants.

  • Identify ant nests or areas that ants frequently infest in your home or garden.
  • Sprinkle coffee grounds around the outside to create a space that isolates the ants.
  • Continue to sprinkle diatomaceous earth one at a time to form an isolated circle.
  • Ants will be destroyed when trying to get out of the area with coffee grounds and diatomaceous earth due to dehydration and damage to the ant’s skeletal structure.
  • This combination is the ideal and safe way to repel and kill ants even when there are small children and pets in the house.
  • Apply this method regularly for best results.

Combine Coffee Grounds With Borax

You may not know, that borax is a common additive in the laundry industry. Its effect is to repel and eliminate insects and ants. You need to identify the nest or the area of the path and return route that the ants frequent. Then you sprinkle coffee grounds on those streets. Next, you use a mixture of sugar, borax, or boric acid with water to lure the ants out.

Use cotton balls that have been wetted with this solution and place them next to the ant nest. Ants will be attracted by the sweetness of sugar and bring food back to the nest without knowing that the food has poison. From there, the ant colony will be destroyed and the queen will also get sick and die.

Combine Coffee Grounds With Essential Oils

Ants are creatures that do not like strong and strong odors. So you can take advantage of the strong scent of essential oils and coffee grounds to repel and kill ants. You can use essential oils from orange, tangerine, cinnamon, or those with a strong smell.

You also perform this process similarly to the measures above. Identify the exact nest or daily path of the ants. Sprinkle with coffee grounds to isolate the ants and prevent them from returning to the nest. Then, use the essential oil to spray directly onto the path or ant nest. Essential oils from oranges and tangerines also contain some toxicity to ants and insects.

Other Methods To Repel And Kill Ants

In addition to using coffee grounds to repel ants, you can use several other methods to kill ants. Boiling water is also an effective method to kill ants. You just need to pour boiling water and the ants nest and they will die from the heat. You can do this process continuously until the ant nests in the house have completely disappeared.

In addition, you can plant some plants to repel ants and insects. Some plants that can effectively repel ants and insects include rosemary, catnip, lavender, mint, and thyme. These plants will release scents and mixtures of substances that make ants and insects afraid to come near or nest near them.

You can also use chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon powder, and salt to sprinkle the path of ants or ant nests. These powders also have a strong odor that causes the ants to move elsewhere. In addition, you can also put dry coffee grounds in a bowl, then burn them, and coffee will make the ants run away from your house.

Coffee grounds are also one of the effective natural insect repellents. Burnt coffee grounds will produce a stronger and denser scent than usual. You can burn coffee grounds in a small bowl to repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes will also not be able to stand the strong scent of coffee grounds and will have to fly to other areas.

Read this post: Does Neem Oil Kill Millipedes in Houseplants?


Coffee grounds are one of the natural ant repellents. Ants and some other insects will have to run away if they touch the coffee grounds. The reason is that coffee contains acidity and a strong scent that ants cannot stand. Coffee grounds also contain about 2% nitrogen, so it is also considered a natural fertilizer for plants.

Coffee grounds can repel ants but cannot completely kill them. Therefore, you need to combine some other substances such as diatomaceous earth, borax, or essential oils of orange, tangerine, and cinnamon to enhance the effect. Sprinkle coffee grounds around the ants to isolate them, then you continue to coat other substances around the ants. They will slowly die trying to get through the coffee grounds and other substances due to dehydration and broken bone structure.

Using coffee grounds and essential oils to repel ants is an eco-friendly solution. Reusing coffee grounds to fertilize also helps reduce the amount of waste released into the natural environment. Therefore, you should prioritize natural solutions to repel ants instead of using chemical drugs to affect the health of people and pets.

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