You have found the perfect seat, got the perfect drink and are ready to enjoy your cigar, you open the box and find your cigars peppered with holes caused by Lasioderma Serricorne, otherwise known as the Tobacco Beetle.
Information on the tobacco beetle
The beetle’s life cycle is between 45 and 90 days, depending on the conditions, meaning they may might not be limited to that one box of cigars, but may have spread about your entire collection. This bug has been a constant problem for the tobacco industry, with cigar companies not only fumigating their warehouses, but also using vacuum chambers to crush beetle eggs lying dormant in their finished products.
The problems start when the bugs are still larvae – a stage lasting between five and 10 weeks – whereby they start to do damage, by boring through the cigars as they eat and excrete the tobacco. As pupae they lie dormant and as adults they live for only a month during which they mate, lay eggs and the whole cycle starts again.,
It sometimes can be hard to tell whether your favourite smokes have been affected because the bug may not have penetrated the cigar yet. One useful tip is with a labelled cigar box to examine the paper hinge inside the lid. You will often find bits of tobacco in this position but you should be suspicious when there is a deposit of fine, brown dust as this is a tell-tale sign that the tobacco beetle has been at work.
What do you do when you find the tobacco beetle has been destroying your cigars?
Try not to flip out and start smashing up your cigars! You are better off bagging them up in a sandwich bag and putting them in the freezer for four days. This will kill them off, no matter what stage in their lifecycle they are. You can thaw your cigars out in the fridge before letting them return to room temperature without the taste being affected too much.
You can also use beetle traps. This glorified fly paper that lures the bug by the addition of two patented pills, one of which fatally attracts the female bug and the other the male. It is important to note that these devilish devices will not eradicate an infestation but they will indicate whether you have one and where it is.
To truly be able to be clear of the dreaded tobacco beetle is to have a high level of hygiene in all aspects of your cigar experiences in conjunction with the removal of all infected cigars.
Keeping your cigars at the optimum temperature of between 16 – 19°C will also reduce the chance of the beetle appearing, so consider investing in a humidor for your cigars.
The most important factor would be buying your cigars from a reputable source. That’s why you should visit Havana House online or in store, because you know the cigars have been stored properly and checked by experts. Don’t forget that we have lighters for sale too!