Does Coffee Help Against Wasps?

We love the summer and fear the wasps. But our dilemma is that warm temperatures and these menacing buzzing insects go hand in hand. In order for us to fully enjoy being outdoors without getting stung, we need to keep the wasps at bay. A helpful home remedy is said to be in every coffee can: coffee powder. The effect of coffee against wasps is controversial, but anyone can easily check it for themselves.

Coffee against wasps

The wasps do not need to pour an extra cup of coffee. To drive these annoying insects from our radius, the dry coffee powder is enough as a basis.
It is not necessary to use the finest and most expensive coffee. It does not even have to be fresh coffee powder. You can dry already brewed coffee grounds, which you would probably otherwise use as plant fertilizer or throw away, and keep them ready for this purpose.

Create smoke

Coffee grounds have a fine scent and wasps have a good olfactory system. Nevertheless, this is not enough to drive them away effectively. Coffee grounds only produce the effect they are said to have against wasps when they are lit on fire.
Coffee powder does not strike flames like wood, but smoulders away and develops strong clouds of smoke. For us humans, the smoke smells spicy coffee, so it does not bother us in the container placed a little apart.

It is not clear whether the coffee scent intensified by burning or other ingredients in the smoke drive away the wasps. However, it should work, claim many users. Experts, on the other hand, speculate that this method may not work. The question remains why they have not already tested it out, then they would not have to speculate. Be your own expert and try it out. This home remedy is completely natural, readily available and costs only a few cents per application.

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Wasps are not, in themselves, aggressive animals that sting indiscriminately. They attack only when they feel threatened. Most of the time, therefore, they are allowed to coexist peacefully with us. Only when the situation requires it, the coffee powder can be used specifically against them. For example, when they besiege our outdoor coffee table.

Ignite coffee powder

  1. Pour one to two tablespoons of coffee powder into a fireproof container. Ceramic and porcelain bowls can shatter, but a metal one is ideal. Ashtrays and old, fireproof cooking pots can also be used for this experiment. New cooking pots, on the other hand, can have unsightly residue stuck to them over time.
  2. Find a place that is a few meters away. It should be a fireproof surface.
  3. Light the coffee powder with a match and let it smolder.

Tip: When setting up the container, also pay attention to the wind or wind direction so that the smoke does not blow over to your coffee table.

Duration of the effect

The coffee powder works as long as it glows. This will be the case for about 1-2 hours. If you want to drive away the pesky insects even longer, you would need to add more coffee powder and relight if necessary. Do not blindly rely on the effect of coffee against wasps. Be mindful and avoid frantic movements or manslaughter attempts when you spot a wasp near you. This can make the insect aggressive and attract more specimens.

Tip: If you are dealing with an entire wasp nest, you may want to enlist the help of a pest control company. The fire department is not responsible for this, and you may not fight or relocate the legally protected wasps on your own.

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Observe precautionary measures
Even small, burning amounts of coffee grounds are not to be underestimated. Place the container so that it is out of reach of children and pets. It is very easy for them to knock it over or touch it out of curiosity or unintentionally.

  • the container can get very hot
  • be sure to place it in a safe place
  • do not use in closed rooms

If you need to move the hot container, be sure to use kitchen gloves, otherwise there is a risk of burns!


If coffee against wasps does not bring the resounding success with you, you do not have to reach immediately to the chemistry. After all, this does not pass you and our environment without a trace. Test some other home remedies until you find the ideal wasp repellent for you. This could be, for example:

  • An essential oil such as mint, tea tree oil, lavender or eucalyptus.
  • basil plant as a table decoration
  • a lemon larded with cloves
  • sliced garlic cloves


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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