During the cold months, patio heaters allow you to spend time in your backyard. They’re safer than an open fire, and you can even enjoy a meal at an outdoor restaurant with them.
However, many say that these heat sources can lure bugs in. This is potentially dangerous since insects like mosquitoes can carry diseases.
So do patio heaters attract mosquitoes? Which type of heater is the best for preventing bugs, and how can you avoid getting bitten?
Find out in this article!
Patio heaters are useful for enjoying your garden in the winter, but they don’t keep bugs away. On the contrary, some bugs get attracted to these devices!
What makes patio heaters attractive to bugs? There are three factors.
Insects with positive phototaxis instinctively fly toward light. These types of bugs include flies, termites, and beetles.
Moreover, moths use moonlight to navigate in the dark. Lamps, which can look like moons, are super-stimulants for them.
Since patio heaters have a strong red light, you can expect to lure several bugs to your area.
Bugs are cold-blooded creatures. They depend on outside sources of heat to survive.
This means if it’s cold, a patio heater is a great way to keep insects warm, and they’ll flock to your house.
3 – Carbon Dioxide
Some bugs get attracted to the smell of carbon dioxide.
For example, wood-boring beetles will fly to a patio heater that’s emitting this gas. You want to avoid these types of bugs since they can cause structural damage to your house.
Carbon dioxide is a sign to insects that a warm-blooded target is close. It can tell them there are other bugs nearby as well.
Mosquitoes are one of the most dangerous insects you can attract with your heater. They can carry diseases like Zika virus, malaria, and West Nile virus.
Sadly, patio heaters can’t keep mosquitoes away.
Although some species of mosquitoes don’t like light, almost all use carbon dioxide to see their prey.
Studies show that mosquitoes will follow concentrated plumes of CO2 as they associate the odor with food.
This is a problem since two types of patio heaters emit gas. If you’re resting under a patio heater, it’s an easy way to get yourself bitten!
Before buying a patio heater, consider which type is best for your location. Here are some heaters you should know about.
A propane heater is the most portable option. You can carry it anywhere since it comes in small sizes.
The downside to propane heaters is it produces carbon dioxide as a by-product. One of these can produce 135 pounds of CO2 per million BTU.
That means each hour you use it, you’ll release the same carbon dioxide as a car driven for 7.5 miles!
Natural gas patio heaters are the most cost-effective. They’re efficient and need little maintenance.
However, they produce carbon dioxide like propane does.
What’s more, you can’t use natural gas patio heaters in enclosed spaces. These heaters will create carbon monoxide if there’s a lack of oxygen!
Electric patio heaters are the costliest option. It also needs a high-voltage power source, so you can’t keep it far from your home.
Yet, you should consider trying it since it’s wind-resistant and environmentally friendly.
Electric heaters are odorless and don’t produce carbon dioxide. In short, you can better avoid mosquitoes and other bugs with this type of heater!
In terms of keeping bugs away, electric patio heaters are the best choice! Although these heaters still have light and heat that can lure other insects in, they don’t release carbon dioxide.
Because of this, you can avoid attracting dangerous insects like mosquitoes.
Of course, you should be aware this isn’t a foolproof method to keep bugs away. You still have to take extra measures to stay safe on your patio!
It’s difficult to keep bugs 100% away if you have a patio heater. It’s why on top of picking the right heater, you can use other methods to deter the insects.
Here are some ways to avoid attracting bugs to your patio.
There are many pest repellents on the market today.
You can install yellow-repellent bulbs to prevent bugs from staying on your patio. Strategically placing electric mosquito control gear around your patio heater is a must.
Plus, if you don’t own pets, you may benefit from an ultrasonic pest repellents that uses sound to keep insects away.
For more natural methods, it’s possible to buy citronella candles and burner sticks. Planting rosemary, basil, lavender, and mint around your patio is another great way to keep mosquitoes away!
Mosquitoes love to hide in damp, dark places. If you have litter lying around your patio, it can act as a haven for these pests.
To lessen the mosquito population, it’s best to clean your patio and surrounding areas.
Even the smallest amount of water can be a breeding place. You should always remove any standing water from bird baths, flower pots, buckets, and gutters.
For those with ponds, make sure you have live fish that’ll eat any insect larvae!
Whenever you’re relaxing on your patio, don’t forget to use insect-repellent lotions.
According to the CDC, you should buy one that’s EPA-registered. It can have up to 30% DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
The Guardian says taking vitamin B1 regularly can make you undesirable to mosquitoes.
To add, the way you dress can also prevent bug bites! Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes since it absorbs more heat.
Using an insecticide around your patio and garden can reduce the mosquito population.
After identifying the pest-hiding spots, you can get rid of them with a sprayer, fogger, or other aerosols.
Be warned that when you use this method, you should always follow the manufacturer’s directions. It’s also a great idea to hire a professional so you don’t have to handle dangerous chemicals!
Do patio heaters attract mosquitoes? Unfortunately, they do!
Patio heaters have light and heat, which attract bugs. Yet the worst part is propane and natural gas patio heaters produce carbon dioxide as a by-product.
Mosquitoes see this gas as a signal that a warm-blooded animal is nearby and fly toward the source.
To avoid getting bitten, you should buy an electric patio heater since it doesn’t emit carbon dioxide. You can use pest repellents, clean your yard, and eliminate pests with insecticide as well!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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