Do Fire Pits Repel Mosquitoes? - Backyard Boss
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Do Fire Pits Repel Mosquitoes?

If you want to have a mosquito-free backyard experience, there are a few things you can do. You can light citronella, reduce standing water in your backyard, or you can put up mosquito netting. While all of these are good ideas, one of the best ways to keep these pests out of your yard during the warm evenings is to have a fire pit

Mosquitoes are not attracted to fire and wood smoke, and having a pit in your backyard can be a great deterrent for them. On top of that, it’s a wonderful way to enjoy your backyard to the fullest and get the most out of your space with the whole family. 

Why Do Fire Pits Repel Mosquitoes?

While mosquitoes are certainly not fond of fire or attracted to it the way moths are, it is mostly the smoke that keeps them away. Some of the chemicals that are in common firewood are natural mosquito repellents and will work wonders for keeping them out of your yard and out of your life.

Many of the chemicals found in firewood that keep mosquitoes away are the same natural oils that keep pests at bay in the wild. Some plants excrete these oils to stay viable in the wild, and they work as insect repellents even better when they are combusted and expelled into the air in wood-burning fire pits.

Wood Fire Pit in a Barrel
Image credits: roya ann miller via Unsplash

What to Use as a Mosquito-Proof Fuel 

If you want to make sure that mosquitoes don’t interrupt your backyard fire pit session, there are a few types of wood you can use as fuel that repel them even more than some common firewoods. You don’t have to use these things as your fuel, but adding them on top of your firewood is a great way to keep the bugs at bay. 


Pinyon is a soft type of wood that is extremely repellent to mosquitoes. Traditionally found in the American Southwest, Pinyon gives off a pleasant smell and can even be used for cooking if you want to take advantage of your fire pit. 

Not only will pinyon keep mosquitoes away, but it also works on a wide variety of insects and other pests. With a BTU of 27.1 million, it burns very well and is an excellent addition to your fire pit arsenal. It also burns much cleaner than softwood like pine, so it can help maintain a pleasant atmosphere around the fire. 


Sage is a great natural insect repellent and can be added to your fire pit after you get it lit. Like pinyon, it also has a pleasant smell and can add a nice atmosphere to an evening out by the fire. Dried sage doesn’t have the same oils that the fresh herbs do, though. Add a bundle of fresh sage to the top of your fire, and you can be sure to keep mosquitoes away throughout the night. 


Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in many natural repellents. Its natural eucalyptol and cineole keep mosquitoes away while at the same time adding aroma to the fire. Each cord of eucalyptus has a BTU rating of 35 million, so it burns well and is a fairly clean wood that can be used as your main fuel. 

Gas Fire Pit
Image credits: Tyler Delgado via Unsplash

Do Gas Fire Pits Repel Mosquitoes? 

Unfortunately, gas fire pits do not repel mosquitoes. Since the flames themselves aren’t a deterrent, gas fire pits are not going to be nearly as effective when it comes to getting mosquitoes out of your backyard. They don’t produce smoke as manual fire pits do, so you won’t benefit from the natural oils in the wood. However, if you don’t have a problem with mosquitoes, but don’t know which fire pit you should choose, make sure to know the difference between wood and gas fire pits.

Mosquito-Proofing a Propane Fire Pit

If you have a propane fire pit, there are a few things you can do to keep the mosquitoes away. You can burn some citronella candles near it, which is a great natural pesticide and insect deterrent. You can also use electronic devices like bug zappers and fly traps around the propane fire pit to make sure that your pleasant evening isn’t interrupted by the buzzing and biting of these annoying pests. 

People Around a Fire Pit
Image credits: Jim Chesek via Unsplash

Keep Your Backyard Free of Mosquitoes 

Taking the right steps to make sure your backyard gathering at the fire pit is safe and comfortable can make you and everyone involved a lot happier when the sun starts to go down. Whether you have a standard fire pit or a gas version, there are things you can do that will make sure you don’t have to deal with pesky mosquitoes.

Once you get rid of mosquitoes and you want to increase the comfort of your fire pit, find our best ideas for fire pit seating!

Do you have a mosquito-repelling technique that you use? Let us know about it in the comment section below!