Are ants bothering you? How to get rid of these little guys? I mean, they could be cute sometimes to look at but not when you find them on your favorite dessert. We usually see people using three major methods to eliminate ants from their property. Which is Borax, Diatomaceous earth, and coffee grounds.
Here, we will discuss the benefits of using coffee grounds against ants.
Why Should You Get Rid of Ants?
Before we start going against these innocent creatures, let us understand more about them. So, ants are pretty useful in gardens as they improve the structure of our soil. But sometimes, they could build a nest under your favorite plant, which creates a problem, but ants rarely harm your plant. As we know, ants are the predators who munch on other insects, this means they will protect your plants from other annoying insects and bugs.
Now discovering them under your bed is a different thing, it is understandable why you would want to remove them from your house.
But if they live in your garden, let them do their job for your own good.
Coffee Grounds and Ants (Shed)
This is one of the most common remedies found on the internet when you search “How to get rid of ants?” They will suggest you to sprinkle some coffee grounds over the top of the anthill. It’s easy to understand and conduct. We tried doing some research to find any scientific facts as to if coffee grounds really work on ants? But we didn’t find much, so we decided to conduct an experiment. The experiment didn’t end up with scientific reasons, but we have some good insights as to why this must be happening.
So, we did the experiment in a shed protecting a garden. Ants were living their life in this shed since day one. Usually, coffee grounds are sprinkled over the anthill, but these ants didn’t build one. So, we sprinkled coffee grounds over the area they were living in and tried to cover their daily route. What we examined was surprising, the ants avoided the grounds at all cost. We hoped the ants would leave the shed in few hours when we came back after a day, nothing was changed. Ants had pushed away the coffee grounds getting back to their regular route and home.
Coffee Ground and Ants (Patio)
Ants were living under rectangular man-made stone tiles in the patio. We saw two holes that were probably connected to their nest. We circled coffee grounds around the hole. Ants come out of the nest looked at the ground and went back in, same happened with the ants trying to enter the hole, they came closer to the hole and went back.
The second hole was near their anthill. Many busy ants were visible working in and out of the hill. We covered the anthill with coffee grounds and the same thing happened, ants stayed away from the holes.
It was impressive how coffee grounds were working, maybe it was the smell that kept ants away, or maybe it has something to do with the particles of coffee grounds. The ants we were trying to get rid of were as small as the coffee grounds.
The next day in the afternoon, we went back to check if the ants were gone. And to our surprise, there were no ants in sight! So, this really works! Well not for long, when we came back after few hours, the ants were working with coffee grounds pushed away from the holes.
Even the anthill was free from coffee grounds, the ants did not abandon the hill. Instead, they made a new entrance.
Coffee Grounds, Ants, and Precious Plants
One of the plants from the garden seemed to be dying, after examining the plant, we saw many ants coming out. The ants were constructing a nest under the plant, and since the plant was tiny the ants were doing fetal damage to it.
We immediately grabbed coffee, but with two past experiences, we didn’t hope it would work this time. So to be sure, we grabbed a little sugar and borax and sprinkled it over and around the plant.
We are not sure what exactly did the magic, but ants were nowhere to be seen. But not sure if the coffee grounds worked or the borax powder or maybe even disturbing the ants while building their nest did the work. Ants mostly avoided the construction of their nests in hostile areas.
Testing for Ant Control
An entomologist at Texas AgriLife Extension, Dr. Wizzie Brown, did some testing with coffee grounds and ants. What he found is that coffee grounds do not have much effect on ants. Brown said, “sprinkling one cup of pre-used coffee grounds over fire ants did not kill the ants. The ants were working just as much as they were working before.”
We saw that ants are not coffee lovers, but they also don’t seem to be scared or affected by coffee. We even saw ants walking over the grounds. We don’t believe the smell is what affects them because if the smell was the main factor for keeping ants away from coffee grounds, then the ants wouldn’t have come so close to the coffee grounds.
So this shows that ants do avoid coffee grounds but are not scared of them. And since there is no solid evidence of coffee working against ants, we recommended you use the usual borax against ants.
So, until we receive good evidence on the relationship between coffee and ants, keep using the commercial products when you have to get rid of ants. Also sometimes you will have to learn how to live with them because they are good if they live in your garden protecting your plants.