Protecting Your Cigars From Infestation

tabacco Lasioderma serricorne, even the scientific name sounds nasty. Tobacco beetles are one of the nastiest things that could happen to your cigar collection. Opening your cigar box and finding your favorite cigars filled with holes from boring tobacco beetle larvae is enough to make a grown man cry. That’s why you need to act quickly when you spot early signs of infestation. These tobacco bugs on the average have 45 to 90 day-life span. Within that period, the bugs can easily spread themselves to other cigar boxes that you may have.

These beetles find refuge in the tobacco leaves. They lay their eggs in cigars which  hatches into larvae whose appetite for whole tobacco leaves is overwhelming. Not to mention that the eggs of tobacco beetles hatches in five to ten days. And with each beetle laying up to 100 eggs at a time, your humidor can turn into a beetle colony in no time.

The larvae stage will lasts from five to ten weeks. It is quite unfortunate that at this stage the tobacco beetle has nothing by eating in its mind. The adult beetle only lives for about a month with most of its adult life is spent searching for a mate.

Aside from the obvious bores or holes on the cigars, it can be difficult to spot early signs of infestations. Another good sign is the presence of brown dust inside the cigar box’s paper lining and in corners inside the lid. Also, you could tap softly the foot of the cigar and when a shower of brown dust falls from it, then what  you have is larvae eating away your cigar.

Solutions to tobacco beetle infestation involves two options: disposing of the infested cigars and freezing the cigars.

When you notice signs of beetle larvae in your cigars, it is best to isolate the whole box. Place the box in a sealable plastic bag. When you decide to dispose of it, throw the plastic bag in the garbage can. Make sure that the plastic is kept sealed at all times to avoid any spreading of the infestation. Tobacco beetles can easily spread to other boxes so be careful with disposing of infested cigars.

If you’re not willing to throw the whole box away, seeing that other cigars can still be smoked, the option available for you is freezing the tobacco. Tobacco beetles can’t stand the cold and keeping them inside the freezer for four days can kill them them whether they are in the egg, larvae, or adult stage.

A great disadvantage of freezing the cigars, however, is ruining the cigar itself. Freezing can dry out the cigars plus the smell of the freezer can affect the overall taste of the cigar. Also, be reminded that when removing the cigars from the freezer, it would be best to keep it refrigerated for a while longer instead of pulling it out immediately in room temperature. Sudden change in the temperature or the sudden warming temperature can split the cigar since the filler the inside the cigar will expand as it warms up.

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