A Look at Cigar Beetles

Cigar beetles has been one of the most dreaded enemies of cigar collectors. Cigar beetles, known scientifically as Lasioderma serricorne, are pests known to feed on tobacco leaves that cigars are made of. These beetles grow to around two to three millimeters long. They are light brown in color which makes them undetectable at most times when hiding among cigars or tobacco leaves. What makes them a pest is that they have a huge appetite for tobacco and can easily ruin a cigar collectors prized cigars if left unchecked.

Tobacco or cigar beetles are no bigger than a pinhead, making them difficult to notice up until a considerable number of cigars have already been ruined. Cigar beetles also have wings that makes them fly. They are known by entomologists as cosmopolitan insects in that they can be found all over the world. These beetles mostly thrive in countries where temperatures average above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. In short, these pests like heat and may not survive cold temperatures for long periods of time.

Cigar beetles have a four stage life cycle like many other insects. They go from the egg, larvae, pupa and adult stages that can take from 10 to 12 weeks. An adult tobacco beetle lives from two to four weeks on average. It is on their larval stages that these pests are most destructive to tobacco leaves and cigars. Female adult beetles may only chew its way into tobacco and even paper in order to create a warm environments that is suitable for the eggs that they will lay. It is the larvae that devour tobacco in large quantities.

The tobacco beetles have been a threat to a number of tobacco factories since forever. And they continue to infest tobacco farms if care to prevent them from attacking is not undertaken. The best way for cigar factories to prevent infestation is by keeping the premises always spotlessly clean. It seems to be the best way of preventing the tobacco beetle infestation. Aside from that, regular fumigation as well as setting up beetle traps all over the premises will help keep tobacco infestation in check.

Not only do such pests bother cigar and tobacco factories and farms, they also can be a threat to cigar collectors. One infested cigar can easily spread through a cigar collector’s humidor. The best thing to do to prevent an infestation is always trying to check each cigar before putting them with the other cigars in the humidor. Regularly cleaning your humidor with a damp cloth dipped in distilled water would also help. Using pesticides and other chemicals should be avoided since your humidor would absorb them and would ruin your cigar collection.

In case you already find an infestation in your own collection, there is still a way to get rid of them and save the other remaining untouched cigars. What you can do is to try and place your cigar as well as the boxes in the freezer for at least three days. After that, try relocating them into the refrigerator crisper or chiller for about 24 more hours. Don’t try to take your cigars directly into room temperature the rapid change of atmosphere will cause rapid thawing and make your cigars swell and ruin them permanently.

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