Insect eating freshly painted exterior house trim

Asked August 20, 2019, 11:20 AM EDT

Within the past month, I completed painting the brick mold trim on my house a deep crimson color and have noticed that some type of insect has been nibbling off the sharp edges of the trim revealing the white primer beneath. The previous color was a less conspicuous mauve with no damage observed over decades. I suspected wasps or some type of bee as I've previously witnessed them nibbling on my unpainted deck railings but haven't actually seen them on the house trim. I have however observed an occasional grasshopper perched on siding near the trim.
What might the culprit be and how can it be addressed?
Thank you.
The culprits appear to be grasshoppers as I found one on a freshly painted shutter with damage to the paint already. Are they attracted to the color or the paint and how can they be deterred?



Rutland County Vermont

1 Response

I can't confidently answer your question, but I suspect it's probably the soft, fresh latex paint that would attract grasshoppers rather than the color. FWIW, my best suggestion would be to leave them be for now, and come back later in the fall to repaint, when grasshopper activity has ceased. I'm not sure whether an insecticide spray would make much difference since the damage likely occurs over a short time after the grasshopper lands on the treated paint, but permethrin, cyfluthrin, bifenthrin, esfenvalerate, lambda-cyhalothrin are all good grasshopper insecticides. Be sure to check any spray on an inconspicuous area of paint first to make sure it doesn't stain or leave a visible residue.