Do Patio Heaters Attract Bugs? (It Depends)

Whether you run a business with a patio or you’re considering purchasing a patio heater for your backyard, one thing you may be wondering is “Do Patio Heaters Attract Bugs?”.

I wondered the same thing prior to making my patio heater purchase and I’m glad I did the research because the answer can be YES, depending on the type of patio heater you use. Let me explain.

Do Patio Heaters Attract Bugs?

Gas-powered patio heaters (liquefied petroleum gas, propane and butane) do attract bugs, particularly mosquitoes. The burning of gas produces carbon dioxide and mosquitoes have adapted to detect ambient levels of CO2 throughout their evolution, in order to locate animals and humans. If you’re using a gas-powered patio heater, bugs and mosquitoes will be attracted to the warm CO2 in anticipation of food. An electric infrared patio heater is a cost-effective alternative that does not emit gas or attract bugs.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average gas-powered patio heater emits 50kg of carbon dioxide per year. This is a significant amount which on its own convinced me to avoid purchasing a gas-powered patio heater. Throw in the added trouble that these patio heaters attract bugs and it was an easy decision to go electric!

Electric patio heaters are not as powerful and require you to be close to an outlet. However, they are much more cost-effective than gas-powered patio heaters and work perfectly well for a small patio or outdoor entertainment space. Best of all, they will help you avoid this bug problem altogether.

patio heater

If you prefer to go the gas-powered route but your patio heater is attracting bugs and mosquitoes, here are a few suggestions to help repel mosquitos on your patio:

  1. Add a mosquito net
  2. Set up fans blowing away from your seating area
  3. Eliminate standing water in your backyard
  4. Keep your patio clean and free from food scraps
  5. Use an essential oil diffuser, candles or a spray bottle to mask the scent of humans
  6. Plant herbs
  7. Wear bug spray

These are a number of different (environmentally friendly) ways to repel mosquitoes and bugs from your patio area. They’re rather inexpensive as well.


Gas-powered patio heaters, which emit gases including CO2 do attract bugs and mosquitos. Patio heaters do not have filters to reduce the gases they produce. Not only is this terrible for the environment and potentially unsafe, it attracts bugs and mosquitos into your comfortable outdoor entertainment space.

Instead, I would highly recommend going with an electric infrared patio heater. Be sure to read my upcoming article on how to choose the right patio heater for you. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type and provide some recommendations.