The moth has a wing expanse of 13-19 mm and a length of 6-9 mm. The forewings are clay-yellow and without markings; the hind wings are grey. The rear edges of the forewings and hindwings have long fringes.
The female lays an average of 150 eggs. The caterpillar bores into a grain kernel after emerging from the egg, remaining there until fully developed. The development period depends on temperature; in Central Europe one, in warmer countries several generations per year.
Temperate-zone countries and the tropics
A primary pest of grain, which may be attacked in the field, although most damage occurs in storage. Attacks all types of cereal grains, particularly corn and wheat. The weight losses can be as much as 50% for wheat and 24% for corn. Badly infested grain has a sickening smell and taste that makes it unpalatable.