This distinctive moth is related to the Codling Moth and the Mexican Jumping Bean Borer and is found throughout much of North America, all of the U.S., and south into Mexico. The larvae feed on the seeds and acorns of various species of oaks, chestnut, pecan, and beech, and may even feed within the large galls called “oak apples” that are caused by wasp larvae. Ironically it is unclear whether it even feeds on filberts. They are a pest problem in commercially grown hazel nuts. The final larval instar overwinters, usually buried in vegetation on the soil such as grass or fallen leaves, and pupates in the spring. There may be several generations each year.
Control must be aimed at the adult moths, since the larvae feed within the seeds and acorns and are not affected by insecticides. Contact insecticides may be applied, timed to the early presence of the adult moths and laying of eggs. Cleanup and removal of debris on the soil also removes overwintering larvae and minimizes preferred overwintering materials. Control of infestations on ornamental oaks are not necessary.