Do Patio Heaters Attract Bugs?

Do Patio heaters attract bugs? Yes, bugs like mosquitos are drawn to the carbon dioxide that is emitted from gas patio heaters. Bugs are also attracted to patio heaters because of their warmth and light.

When you are hosting a party, an event, or maybe you just want to have some friends over, having a patio is a big plus. The only problem with patios is that they are not very usable during the colder times of the year.

That is unless you have some patio heaters. If you have patio heaters that means you can keep the party going all year round no matter if it is hot or cold.

Now there are some things you need to worry about when it comes to patio heaters. There is the maintenance of keeping it working and you have to worry about what patio heaters can attract when you turn them on.

We explain in greater depth why patio heaters attract bugs and some tips for enjoying your patio heater more with fewer bugs around, so keep reading!

Patio heater in backyard with shiny metallic finish

Related Reading: Get Rid of Those Flies In Your Yard

Why Do Patio Heaters Attract Bugs?

There are insects, such as mosquitos, that are drawn to carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is made when you mix propane and natural gas, so the moment you turn on your patio heater, you are putting carbon dioxide in the air. Bugs are also attracted to patio heaters because of their warmth and light.

You and everyone else on your patio do not want those insects around when you are eating food and having a good time at your party.

The simplest solution for you would be to not use the heater at all so the bugs stay away but no one wants to freeze when they are hanging out with friends.

So it is best you know why they attract bugs and what you can do to help prevent them from crashing your future parties.


Insects are very much cold blooded and work best when there is heat present. Most insects slow down and hibernate when the seasons become cold. So naturally, if a bug feels any kind of heat being given off, they will instinctively go towards the heat and try to thrive there.

So you are not going crazy when you think you are noticing that there are fewer bugs around when it is cold.

They are usually somewhere warm. So just know, your patio heater is not a big attraction, anything with heat will attract those critters.


You are probably not an insect expert, you probably do not know that insects have either positive or negative phototaxis. What that means is how the body of the insects reacts when being exposed to light.

If an insect has a positive phototaxis, it will be attracted to light, while a bug with negative phototaxis will flee from the source of light.

Most insects that can fly have a positive phototaxis, which is why when you are on the patio with either a patio heater or bonfire, you usually find yourself having to swat away those gnats or mosquitos.

Luckily, the light from your patio heater will keep away the insects that like to crawl around as they hate the light.

The brighter your patio heater is, the more insects it will attract. The thing about bugs is that they use the light from the moon and stars as their way to move around in their environment.

When they see a big light, they are naturally drawn to it but will usually get confused by it and go partially blind by it for around 30 minutes. It is the explanation as to why bugs look like they are confused when they are around artificial light.

Carbon Dioxide

There are insects, such as mosquitos, that are drawn to carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is made when you mix propane and natural gas, so the moment you turn on your patio heater, you are putting carbon dioxide in the air.

This is the number one attraction when it comes to mosquitos. When mosquitoes sense carbon dioxide, it makes them think that there is food in the form of either people or animals around.

So if you are planning on using your patio heater on a chilly summer night, just know that you are opening you and your friends up for a feasting frenzy for which you are the main course.

Depositphotos 204409600 l 2015

How Can You Keep the Bugs Away?

Now that you know what is attracting the bugs, you can take the necessary steps needed to make sure that they do not wreak havoc on your gathering.

The last thing you want is to have your party get ruined by a bunch of bugs attracted to your patio heater.

Simple Yard Work Helps

The easiest way you can help prevent bugs from crashing your patio party is by maintaining your yard. So while maintaining your yard will help it look nice, it will also help keep away all those bugs that no one wants around.

You can do things like avoid using mulch. While it looks really good, it is the perfect place for some of these bugs to live. Rock or gravel is a much better option for you. You also do not want any standing water around.

This is where a lot of insects go to reproduce and if you have standing water in your yard, all that means is that you are just asking for trouble when it comes to hosting parties outside.

Make sure you keep your yard clean, plant plants like citronella, lavender, or basil that let off a scent that naturally keeps bugs away. The biggest thing you can do is make sure your patio is clean and tidy.

If you leave any food or crumbs lying around, no matter how much yard work you do, those bugs will just keep showing up.

Know What Household Things You Can Use

There are things you may have lying around the house that you can use that will be able to help keep those bugs away. The first thing you can do is try using different kinds of lights. White light bulbs have blue lights which attract bugs the most.

So you should try using yellow lights or lights with a warmer light spectrum. That will help attract fewer bugs to your patio. Using a fan may not seem right but if you have fans available to you, you can place them facing out towards your yard.

Bugs are not strong enough to fly against that kind of wind. If you have any extra dryer sheets lying around, you can wipe down your patio furniture with them. This will help hide the scent of humans which helps keep those nasty intruders away.

There are many more household items that will help you keep insects away from your patio party while you are still able to use your patio heater. You just need to be resourceful and knowledgeable.

Final Thoughts

In the end, while patio heaters have their benefits, they can attract bugs to your party. Insects are one of the things that can turn a great party into a disaster.

It is up to you to know how you can have the best of both worlds. Hopefully this article gave you an idea why your patio heater is attracting bugs and what steps you can take to make sure those intruders do not impede on the good time you are trying to have.

There is nothing like being able to hang with friends and family outside on a patio, especially in times like these.

You should not let bugs get in the way of that. So take care of your yard, keep your patio clean, pull out that patio heater, invite people over, and have a great time. You deserve it.

Continue Reading:

  1. How Big Of An Area Does A Patio Heater Heat?
  2. Best Natural Gas Patio Heaters Reviewed
  3. The Most Common Patio Heater Replacement Parts
  4. Can I Use A Patio Heater Under A Gazebo?
  5. How Long Does A Propane Tank For A Patio Heater Last?