Surely, the types of beetles and bugs that eat away at tobaccos products must be indigenous to the regions in which the crops were grown, right? Well, you would think so, but unfortunately, depending on your area, these pests can be problematic to the very cigar humidor sitting in your home.

So just who are these bugs that feed on tobacco? Well, the tobacco beetle is a tiny insect that lives in warm, humid climates, and is extremely destructive to tobacco plants and products. If a female cigar beetle makes her way into your humidor or stash, she will undoubtedly begin to eat up your collection, and worse, she can lay up to 100 eggs that hatch within 6 to 10 days. Once the larvae hatch, you’ll find yourself with a monumental problem, even at their minute scale, with your cigar stash thoroughly destroyed in just a matter of days.

Most cigar manufacturers are pretty diligent in regards to shutting out any infestation at the source, using a series of precautious efforts and practices. But unfortunately, sometimes they happen to get through. At such a miniscule size, even the most meticulous standards of inspection are subject to the occasional security breach. So, it is possible that these pests may enter your supply or home by way of new cigars, which may be concealing eggs.

It’s recommended, especially if you’re a supplier or buy in bulk, to not rely solely on the manufacturer’s inspection efforts, and implement a search of your own immediately upon arrival. If you live in the warm, humid areas these beetles thrive in, it may be best to keep up with your inspections, and check in on your humidor every few days.

There are tell-tale warning signs of their presence too, so it should be easy to determine if your stash has been subject to infestation. Look out for any pin-sized holes on your cigars. These tiny specks are a sure-fire indication of their presence. For eggs, you can tap your cigars and look for anything to fall out. It may look like dirt or dust, but there’s a chance it could be beetle eggs. Infestation happens quickly, and the damage piles up even faster, so be sure not to put your search routine off.

If you do notice an outbreak, don’t fret, as there are ways of controlling the infestation and minimizing damage. If even one cigar is compromised, bag your cigars in airtight sandwich bags, and place them in your refrigerator for 24 hours. After a day in fridge, double-bag your cigars to avoid freezer burn, and toss them in the freezer for 3 additional days. This is a proven, effective way of exterminating bugs, both hatched and unhatched, without destroying the remaining cigars.

After the three days, be sure to clean your humidor before returning your cigars. Thoroughly wipe down each surface with a damp cloth, and remove any traces or leftover eggs. Make sure your humidor is properly optimized before returning your cigars, and ensure the adequate levels of moisture and humidification that were there prior.

While your cigars are in the freezer, give your humidor a thorough cleaning. While freezing your cigars will kill the beetles that are already nesting inside them, there could be more lurking in the container that could taint future smokes. Wipe the inside of the humidor clean with a damp cloth to remove any remaining beetles, eggs or larvae and allow it to dry. Add some extra strips of cedar to absorb any excess moisture before returning cigars to the humidor.

So, while cigars are best shared in unison, be wary of the tiny guests who’ve unwelcomingly helped themselves to your stash!

POSTED ON Apr 11, 2018


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