Patio heaters are great addition to any outdoor space in both homes and restaurants. They create a warm environment in a cold weather for a comfortable evening relaxation or gatherings. If you are considering a patio heater for your backyard, obviously one thing is bothering you, do patio heaters attract bugs?
Yes, bugs including mosquitoes are attracted to warmth, light and carbon dioxide produced by gas powered outdoor patio heaters. Electric infrared patio heaters on the other hand does not attract bugs due to their direct transfer of radiant heat to the user without producing CO2 gas.
Why are bugs attracted to outdoor heaters?
Gas powered patio heaters provide for a large coverage area and they are inexpensive to operate. However, natural gas or propane patio heaters have one major problem, attracting bugs. When burning, gas powered heaters produce immense amount of heat, light and carbon dioxide.
Bugs love warmth and they will be attracted to any form of heat in a cold weather. This is the reason they invade your home when winter approaches. Bugs use light for navigation as they search for food or warmth and for this reason, they get drawn to any form of light in their vicinity.
Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of burning gas that also animals and humans exhale. It is what mosquitoes use to locate their host for blood. For this reason, mosquitoes will be among the bugs swarming around your outdoor patio heater due to the concentration of CO2 gas around your patio.
Not all types of outdoor patio heaters attract bugs. Infrared electric patio heaters produce minimum amount of light that is usually not attractive to bugs. Further, they produce radiant heat directed to the nearby users or objects without heating the air around. Therefore bugs are not interested in this type of heaters.
However, using an infrared electric patio heaters does not keep bugs away. You will still have bugs swarming on your porch light including mosquitoes which are attracted to carbon dioxide in your breath and sweat. Therefore, it is important you factor in appropriate ways of keeping bugs off your patio, deck or porch whether using a patio heater or not.
How to Keep Bugs off Patio
To have a peaceful outdoor relaxation with your friends or family, there is a lot you can do to keep bugs off your patio. This range from yard maintenance, use of mosquito repellents and home remedies.
What to do about your yard
Most pest insects that disturb on a patio comes from your backyard. There must be an area where they breed, live and hide during the day. The following tips can help in dealing with bugs in a yard.
- Remove any standing water in the yard as this is where most bugs including mosquitoes breed from. Drive away stagnant water, empty birdbaths and any other containers holding water.
- Remove any debris and materials where bugs can hide including old tires, open cans and old unused equipment.
- Cut short all tall grasses and overgrown shrubs or tree branches. This is to get rid of dampness and darkness where bugs love hiding during daytime.
- Avoid mulches and dead plant materials like decomposing logs and leaves near your home as this is where bugs live.
- Fix any cracks and crevices in your pavements, driveways and patios. This is where bugs live or lay eggs.
- Treat your outdoor water recreation points like swimming pools, hot tubs and water fountains
- Spread dichotomous earth around your yard. This is a nontoxic and inexpensive natural ingredient that will destroy ants, slugs, beetles, ticks, fleas, cockroaches and many other bugs.
What to do about your patio
There are a few changes or things you can add on your patio or porch to keep bugs away
- Change your porch or patio lights to yellow LED bulbs. White bright bulbs produce heat and blue light attractive to bugs.
- Add a fan on your patio pointing in hidden areas like corners or below the furniture. Most bugs are weak flying insects that cannot withstand a strong breeze.
- Clean your outdoor areas like patios and decks on a regular. This is to remove dirt and food leftovers that usually attract bugs.
- Clean and rearrange your outdoor furniture regularly to remove bugs hiding under them
- Reduce lighting on your patio or porch as bugs get attracted to bright light
- Install mosquito nets or screen on your patio or porch. The tight mesh will prevent night flying insects from interfering with your evening outdoor talks.
Invest in Outdoor Bug repellents
Both artificial and natural bug repellents can help in keeping away stubborn insects. They include the following:
There are a number of essential oils that are effective at deterring bugs. They are used as main ingredients in most personal mosquito repellents but can also be applied directly into the air by mixing with water. Essential oils are safe to use around pets and family members but avoid inhaling too much of them.
Popular bug repelling essential oils include the following; Lemon Eucalyptus, Citronella, Lavender, Peppermint, Clove, Cedar wood and Castor Oil. To use add 10 to 15 drops of the oil into one 1/2 a liter of water and spray where needed. You may also use essential oil diffusers but there is risk of inhaling excess amount of oil by pets and humans.
There are various great outdoor pest repellent products you can use while on your patio in the evening hours. Most personal bug repellents contain DEET or essential oils which are effective ingredients against mosquitoes and other bugs. They are available in many pest control stores. Always use as directed by the manufacturer.
You can also use electronic insect repellents that run on electric energy. They can be plugged in or be battery operated. Examples include ultrasonic pest repellent that produces irritating sound that only bugs can hear. Electronic bug zappers are also good but they indiscriminately kill all bugs including harmless and beneficial insects.
Outdoor patio heaters makes us to extend our outdoor living even in cold weather. With or without a patio heater bugs will always be a problem in the evening as they are also attracted to light, warmth and carbon dioxide in our breath or sweat. For this reason, always invest in pest control strategy if you want to fully enjoy your outdoor relaxation or gatherings.