If you are just getting into cigars, there is a world of pleasure waiting for you. With all of the different brands, sizes, flavors, and more, the possibilities are nearly endless. From cigars that taste like nothing but tobacco, to some really sweet and fruity ones and nutty and creamy ones too, there is so much for you to try.
If you are a beginner cigar enthusiast who is just venturing into this world, you’ve probably got a nice humidor or two, humidity regulator packs, and a small collection of cigars to smoke after a long day of work.
Cigars bring a lot of joy to many people, and for newcomers, it can be a real treat. That said, one thing that is not a treat is when you discover that your cigars have been ravaged by beetles, a specific type of beetle, aptly named the cigar beetle. Let’s take a closer look at the issue of cigars, cigar beetles, how to recognize signs of infestation, and how to deal with them.
Cigar Beetles – How to Get Rid of Them
What is a Cigar Beetle?
The scientific term for the cigar beetle is lasioderma serricorne. These are beetles that can be hard to see with the naked eye because they are usually only a couple of millimeters in length. If you don’t know what you are looking for, they might just look like specks of dirt. Like many other beetles, cigar beetles can fly.
They have a fairly short lifespan that usually tops out at about 6 weeks before they die. However, cigar beetles breed and multiply at an astounding pace, which is one of the things that makes them so dangerous.
Of course, the other thing that makes them so dangerous, at least for cigar aficionados, is the fact that they like to burrow inside of cigars and feed on the tobacco. That said, cigar beetles don’t eat just cigars and tobacco; they like various foods including cereals, other grains, and even coffee beans, among many other foods.
Recognizing the Signs of Cigar Beetles
There are two main ways that you can recognize the signs of a cigar beetle infestation in your cigars, besides actually seeing them, of course.
Besides seeing the insects firsthand, the biggest telltale sign that you have a cigar beetle infestation is if you see small pinholes in your cigars. Remember, these beetles will eat their way through a cigar as they burrow into it.
Cigar beetles may even chew through cellophane or plastic wrapping to get to the cigars. Some people may assume that small holes in cigars are due to errors during the making of the cigar, but these holes are usually always caused by cigar beetles.
If you pick up a cigar and tap it on a hard surface, with the front end facing down, you might notice some black dust or black specks falling out. These black specks are the exoskeletons of cigar beetles and the waste that cigar beetles produce.
In other words, the tobacco that cigar beetles eat is digested and then expelled back into the cigars. If you notice black dust accumulating in your humidor, it is a definite sign that you have a cigar beetle infestation.
Getting Rid of Cigar Beetles
The first thing that needs to be said is that hopefully, you can catch a cigar beetle infestation in the infant stages. The reason for this is because once these beetles have chewed into cigars and make holes in them, there is not that much you can do to salvage them.
Smoke will come out of those pinholes, which might look kind of cool, but is useless because none of the smoke gets to your mouth. Sure, you could use rolling papers to stick them shut, but this will only go so far.
Moreover, your cigars might still have the beetles inside of them, along with their waste. Although it is probably not harmful to smoke, it’s not a pleasant thought to have in your head with every puff you take. Therefore, if your cigars have cigar beetles in them, the only real option is to toss them in the garbage.
That being said if only some of your cigars are infested and have been damaged, but there are others near that don’t yet show signs of damage, you may still be able to salvage those. The main thing you need to do here is to ensure that no cigar beetle eggs can hatch in the undamaged cigars.
To accomplish this, stick the cigars in the freezer for 2 to 3 days, and then into the fridge for another day or two, then store them at room temperature for another 2 or 3 days before putting them back into the humidor. Of course, if you see any cigar beetles, kill them and get rid of them immediately.
The bottom line is that the cigar beetle is perhaps the worst nightmare that a cigar smoker can have. Although there is not much you can do to do get rid of them, you can prevent them from infesting your cigars in the first place.
Always inspect your cigars before purchasing them, clean out your humidor, and keep the temperature at a steady 70° Fahrenheit. It also pays to be diligent and to regularly look for signs of infestation, so if need be, you can deal with it before it gets too bad.