There are countless sprays, powders, gels, pellets, and other toxic pesticides on the market that you can use to get rid of ants. However, these often not only destroy the ant colony, but also damage the surrounding flora and kill useful insects. Many pesticides are also dangerous to children, pets and wild birds, and can even get into the fruit of our edible plants. So it’s no wonder that more and more gardeners are avoiding these chemical toxins these days. Instead, they resort to various home remedies as a solution to problems in the household and in the garden. In today’s post we will focus on ants and give you the answer on whether and how you can use coffee grounds against ants effectively. Just keep reading!
Can you rely on coffee to fight the ant colony?
Find out the answer!
Why drive away ants?
Ants are fanciful, intelligent, related to bees, and even called nature’s “health police.” They loosen and aerate the soil, provide the soil with important nutrients, accelerate the natural formation of humus and compost, and also spread plant seeds.
In the garden and especially in the household, however, the tiny insects are not always welcome. They damage surrounding plants with their digging activity and even defend aphids from predators in order to benefit from the vermin’s sweet honeydew. In the lawn, their anthills cause visually unsightly, bare spots.
Indoors, on the other hand, ants can cause damage to wooden components, the foundation and the insulation. Of course, nobody wants to discover the tiny insects in the kitchen or on the dining table.
Are ants beneficial or pests? What do you mean?
Ants play an important role in the ecosystem
How effective is coffee grounds against ants?
Many amazing and almost unbelievable properties are attributed to coffee grounds. Many of these have been disproved, either through targeted studies or through personal experience with them. When it comes to ants, some gardeners and websites claim that coffee grounds kill the tiny insects. However, this is completely wrong unless the coffee is combined with other home remedies or chemicals that actually destroy them.
Coffee grounds don’t kill ants, but their aroma confuses and deters them. Coffee contains more than 800 aromatic compounds. Many of these are activated or enhanced during the roasting process.
The strong aroma of fresh coffee or even used coffee grounds confuses the ants and quickly causes them to lose their pheromone pathways. The workers, soldier and scout ants use these to find their way back to the anthill.
Coarsely ground coffee grounds are also reportedly uncomfortable for ants to crawl on, serving almost as a physical barrier. However, it is wrong to claim that it can damage the exoskeleton of insects.
Anthills are immediately recognizable in the lawn
Coffee grounds can actually repel ants
However, this task requires dedication, patience and tenacity
Interesting facts about coffee and ants
Our native ant species are deterred by coffee and coffee grounds – that’s clear. However, this attracts exotic species of ants from tropical regions where coffee plants grow naturally. Studies have shown that the tiny insects especially prefer Arabica coffee for its remarkably floral and sweet notes.
In nature, however, the ants mainly eat the sweet pulp of the coffee cherry. However, they do not collect the coffee beans and they simply fall to the ground. Brazilian coffee farmer Joao Neto discovered this quite by accident in his organic plantation.
He collected the fallen beans, roasted them, made coffee from them and thus discovered a new and unique new type of coffee – ant coffee. The drink had a lively, sour taste with a pronounced jasmine note.
This isn’t the first type of coffee to be made with the help of animals. For example, Kopi Luwak is made from the droppings of the Asian civet cat. Jacu coffee is harvested from the droppings of various birds in the Cracidae family. Black Ivory coffee is made from the droppings of Asian elephants.
Different species of ants have different taste preferences
Would you drink ant coffee?
So how do you use coffee grounds against ants?
For the first use, you only need about a large handful of fresh or dry coffee grounds from the kitchen. Now distribute this around the anthill or directly in the hole. You will most likely see the first effects immediately. The ants will either immediately retreat underground or disperse, moving chaotically and looking for alternate routes and pheromone pathways.
In a few hours, however, when the initial panic has passed, the ants will simply push the coffee grounds aside and continue their work. Therefore, coffee grounds must be applied to the anthill almost daily to be effective.
Be patient and persistent! Natural, home-made insecticides rarely offer instant results, but they are environmentally friendly and do not poison flora and fauna.
After a few days the ants should have given up and left their old anthill. You will then immediately start building a new one. Look carefully for signs of a developing anthill and repeat the process. Coffee grounds are particularly effective when applied to fresh anthills and colonies that are not yet well established.
For small anthills, just a handful of coffee grounds is enough
Don’t you drink a lot of coffee? Then visit the nearest coffee shop and ask for coffee grounds!
Homemade anti-ant powder
If you want to increase the strength and effectiveness of your homemade ant repellent, mix coffee grounds with cinnamon powder, black pepper or chili powder, and activated charcoal. This creates an odor cocktail that is very unpleasant for ants. Don’t worry, this anti-ant powder mix will not harm your surrounding ornamental plants or lawn grass.
Cinnamon also drives away bees, so avoid using it in the flower bed if possible
Coffee grounds and DIY ant repellents containing it, while not deadly, do not provide instant results and require some patience and dedication on your part. However, they do not harm the environment and do not poison the soil, your fruit or vegetables. It’s also a great way to use up coffee grounds instead of throwing them in the bin, so it’s ideal for the eco-conscious who wants to minimize their waste.