Coffee Affection is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Do Worms Like Coffee Grounds? Advantages & Disadvantages

earthworm and coffee grounds in a compost bin

It’s not unusual for coffee lovers to look for clever ways to put their used coffee grounds to good use. One of the ways people are using their coffee waste is composting. This is using organic materials to improve the health of your plants. But have you ever heard of vermicomposting? This is when worms are added to basic compost to help enrich it.

The big question for coffee lovers is, do worms like coffee grounds? Can worms eat coffee grounds? Are coffee grounds good for worms? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes. Let’s see why.

divider 3

The Advantages of Coffee Grounds in Your Worm Bin

Coffee grounds have been added to compost piles for ages. The used materials can help plants grow and benefit your garden’s soil. When it comes to coffee grounds and worms, however, there are both good and bad aspects you should consider. Let us take a look at the advantages of using coffee grounds in your worm bin.

coffee grounds for compost
Image Credit: jokevanderleij8, Pixabay


Like us, worms need moisture. But did you know they need moisture to breathe? Luckily, when adding coffee grounds to your worm bin you’re providing them with the extra moisture found in the grounds. They can breathe better and grow healthier thanks to the additive.

Easy to Eat

It’s easy to see that worms have small teeth. The size of their teeth, and their bodies overall, make it difficult for them to eat certain foods. Coffee grounds are small particles. This allows your worms to eat them much easier than other things that may be added to the bin.


Did you know coffee grounds are a natural pesticide? Now, you may think that is a bad thing for your worms, but it’s not. Insects are known to visit worm bins and munch on the foods left for your worms. By adding coffee grounds to the bin, you can help eliminate this issue.

Warmer in Winter

During the winter, like humans, worms can get cold. Coffee grounds are a great way to help increase the temperature of your worm farm or bin in the colder months. This will help keep your worms alive and free of unnecessary cold.

divider 6

The Disadvantages of Coffee Grounds in Your Worm Bin

We’ve taken a look at the advantages coffee grounds can offer your worms, but what about the disadvantages? Yes, if not done properly, coffee grounds can be dangerous to your farm. Let’s take a look at those disadvantages so you can better understand how to use coffee grounds with your worms.

woman holding a box of used coffee ground to use as compost in her garden
Image Credit: DGLimages, Shutterstock


While coffee grounds may help your worms in the winter, they can also overheat your bins. If your bins become too overheated, no matter the time of year, your worms will suffer and possibly die.


Whether you’re using coffee grounds for plants or worms, it’s important to remember they are quite acidic. Acidic materials can raise the pH level in your soil. This can be dangerous for both the plants and your worms and should be watched closely.

Slow to Rot

Unlike other foods and materials that can be added to your worm bins, coffee grounds take a bit longer to rot. If your worms aren’t quick to snack on the grounds, they will be spending some time in your bin waiting to compost.

May Dry Out

Yes, coffee grounds add moisture to your worms, but that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually dry out. When this happens, you may find a fine crust forming inside your bin.

coffee grounds compost
Image Credit: Neslihan Gunaydin, Unsplash

Can Worms Eat Coffee Filters?

Another thing you can compost that is good for worms is coffee filters. Coffee filters are just made from paper which is a compostable material. Instead of throwing used coffee filters away, why not add them to your compost as well and help keep them out of landfills?

divider 4

In Conclusion

As you can see, worms have a love/hate relationship with coffee grounds. For some worms, grounds are a small treat they can enjoy for all their benefits. Other worms, who may not be fond of them, may ignore the grounds and simply allow them to do their thing. If you have a worm farm or a vermicompost bin, give coffee grounds a try. You may find your little friends love this addition and will benefit greatly from it.

Featured Image Credit: Martina Unbehauen, Shutterstock


Melissa Gunter

Melissa has been a fan of coffee since the first sip she stole from her Granny's cup when she was just a girl. Now, she spends each morning writing with a hot cup of coffee at her side. With a love of sweet and creamy bliss, Melissa and her daughter, Amber, stop by and try out every local coffee shop they see. Neither are afraid to try something new and have a long list of favorite coffee beverages they simply can't do without. When she's not freelance writing about her 2 passions, coffee, and pets, Melissa spends her time with her husband, 2 kids, and 5 fur babies. She also loves diving into the fiction world under her pen name, Rena Marin. If she isn't at the laptop or with the family, Melissa is out enjoying the mountains of East Tennessee she calls home.

Read more

Related posts

Other Categories