Do Coffee Grounds Repel Voles?

by Derrick | Last Updated: May 24, 2022

Do coffee grounds repel voles? Yes, coffee grounds can help to repel voles.

Voles are small rodents that can damage plant life and spread disease. Voles really are a nuisance to people with vegetable gardens because they will often eat the roots of young plants.

If you’re looking for a natural and cost-effective way to keep voles out of your garden, you may want to consider using old coffee grounds.

Coffee grounds contain scents that can deter voles from entering your garden. When used as a barrier, coffee grounds can be an effective way to keep voles away from your plants.

Voles dislike the sharp odor of citrus, so people often add a few drops of citrus oil to coffee grounds to help repel them.

How To Identify Voles – Moles vs. Voles?

Voles are small, burrowing rodents that can cause extensive damage to gardens and yards. They are often mistaken for moles, but there are several key differences between the two.

Voles have short, round bodies and small eyes and ears, while moles have long, slender bodies and large eyes and ears. Voles also have shorter tails than moles. In terms of size, voles range from four to eight inches in length, while moles can be up to twelve inches long. Another way to tell voles and moles apart is by their behavior. Voles are active during the day and night, while moles are only active at night. Voles also create surface tunnels, while moles create underground tunnels. Finally, voles eat plants and insects, while moles primarily eat earthworms and grubs. If you suspect that you have a vole problem, it is important to take action immediately to prevent further damage.

Why Do Homeowners Want To Repel Voles?

Damage To Your Lawn

Voles are particularly fond of eating the roots of grasses and other plants, which can quickly kill the plant. In addition, voles will create tunnels through the top layer of the lawn, creating pathways that are unsightly and can be dangerous to walk on.

Voles will also make holes in the lawn where they burrow underground. These holes can provide the perfect hiding places for other pests, such as snakes and bugs. As a result, a vole infestation can quickly ruin a beautiful lawn or garden.

Damage To Your Vegetable Garden

Voles damage vegetable plants by eating the roots of the plants. This can stunt the plant’s growth or even kill it. To protect your vegetable plants from voles, you can:

– plant them in raised beds or containers;

– use wire mesh or hardware cloth to create a barrier around the plants;

– trap and remove voles from your garden; or

– use chemicals such as rodenticides according to the manufacturer’s instructions;

– use natural repellants such as the one were are talking about today (coffee grounds)

How To Use Coffee Grounds To Repel Voles

There are several ways to use coffee grounds to repel voles. You can add coffee grounds to your compost pile, sprinkle them around your garden, or make a vole repellent spray.

To make a vole repellent spray, mix one-part coffee grounds with two parts water, leave this in a container overnight, and then strain the mixture. Add a few drops of citrus oil to the mixture and transfer it to a spray bottle. Spray the repellent around your garden, being sure to focus on areas where voles are known to travel.

Reapply the repellent every few days or after it rains.

Other Ways To Use Coffee Grounds

Spread the grounds around your garden. This will spread the scent and often will help deter voles.

If you have a compost pile, adding coffee grounds is a great way to add nutrients to the soil. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, which helps plants grow. Just be sure to mix the coffee grounds with other organic matter, such as leaves and grass clippings, to ensure that the compost pile doesn’t become too acidic.

What Else Can You Use To Repel Voles?

In addition to coffee grounds, there are several other things you can use to repel voles. Garlic, for example, is a natural repellent that can be used in a vole repellent spray. You can also use mothballs or ultrasonic devices to keep voles away.

Fill In Holes

You will usually see paths on the lawn which are trails the voles will often follow. These trails will usually lead back to a hole where the voles burrow under the ground. If you can fill in these holes (you may have to do this a couple of times), eventually the voles will grow tired of the nuisance and move on to other places where they won’t be disturbed.

Mole/Vole Pellets

You can purchase these at your local hardware store. These pellets contain a chemical that is poisonous to moles/voles. You will want to be careful with these as they can also be poisonous to other animals and children, so make sure you use them sparingly and according to the package directions.

They also make natural pellets, which are made with peanut butter paste mixed with sawdust. These generally will not hurt pets in small quantities, but voles will eat them and the sawdust will expand in their stomach.


You can also try setting traps for the voles. Personally, I have had the most success with plastic traps and using peanut butter as bait. Place traps where you see high traffic patterns of voles, usually around your foundation. Check the traps frequently and dispose of any voles you do catch.

Personally, one summer I caught over forty voles. Since then I have not seen any signs of them in my yard.


Overall, most people have the most success using a variety of methods to ensure that they have success reducing the vole population and keeping those that remain at bay.

Coffee grounds are a great natural repellent for voles, but they are not the only thing you can use. Try a few different methods and see what works best for you.

It is something that will take some trial and error to find what works best in your yard, but eventually, you will get there.


Wrapping up, using coffee grounds to repel voles is a great natural option. You can use them in a variety of ways, such as adding them to your compost pile or making a vole repellent spray. In addition, coffee grounds will not harm other animals or children like some of the other options. They will also decompose in your garden and can benefit the soil, so it really is a win/win situation.