When Diplomacy Fails with Tobacco Beetles

Tobacco beetles (Lasioderma serricorne) are nasty little buggers; left to their own devices, they will eat tobacco, lay eggs in cigars, and make cocoons, completely destroying your cigars in the process. Because their eggs hatch quickly, 5 to 10 days, and tobacco beetles can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, it is important to act at the first sign of an outbreak: a pin-sized hole on the wrapper of one your cigars.

Once you have discovered an infestation, you have two options: you can either dispose of the infested cigar or freeze it.

1. Disposal:
Carefully place the infested cigar in a couple of well- sealed plastic bags so the tobacco beetles won't spread, and place the bag in the garbage can.

This method may be quick and easy, but it is not particularly cost effective; chances are, if eggs have hatched in one cigar, they have hatched in other cigars as well. So unless you're absolutely sure the tobacco beetles haven't spread to other cigars, or you're willing to throw out all of your cigars, freezing them is probably a better route to take.

2. Freezing:
Tobacco beetles die at temperatures below 40?aF (4?aC), so freezing your infested cigars is the most effective way to kill any tobacco beetles.

However, freezing does have its risks: the cold air can dry out the cigars, and if the cigars are warmed to quickly, they can split as the filler tobacco expands. Additionally, freezer smells can negatively impact the flavor of the cigars.

But, if you follow the directions listed below, you shouldn't have any problems, and you will be smoking your beetle-free cigars in no time.

  • Put all the cigars in a plastic bag and freeze for 3 to 4 days.
  • To pass the time, clean your humidor with a damp cloth. While you might be tempted to use soap or bleach, it's not really necessarily. Besides, it will ruin the wood and give your cigars a subtle hint of bleach.
  • Take the cigars out of the freezer and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.

  • Put the cigars back into your humidor.
  • Enjoy!

Preventive Measures:
.Of course, it is always easier to prevent an outbreak from happening in the first place.

Follow the 4 tips below, and you should remain free from outbreaks.

  • Since tobacco beetles thrive in hot, humid environments, and eggs hatch at temperatures above 72?aF (22?aC), the easiest way to prevent an outbreak is to make sure your humidor is at 70?aF (21?aC) and at a level of 70% humidity.
  • Keep your humidor out of direct sunlight.
  • Pick up some strips of cedar the next time you're at the tobacconist, and store them with your cigars. They're great at absorbing excess moisture, which keeps levels of humidity down.

  • If you don't already own one, consider purchasing a humidor. They only cost around $30 and can make a big difference in the quality of your cigars.

Keeping your cigars in a cool, dry place is an excellent preventive measure against tobacco beetle outbreaks.

And, if you do happen to have find an infestation of tobacco beetles, simply freeze your cigars for 3 days, and then slowly return them to room temperature.

.Cameron Elliot is an editor for http://www.whatsknottolove.

com, an online cigar boutique that is helping bring the feel of your local cigar shop to the internet. It features unique cigars as well as cigar tips, cigar culture advice and cigar accessories.

By: Cameron Elliot

New York City

Idahos Majestic Landscape Find Adventure Around Every Bend - Travelers visiting Idaho's majestic landscape find plenty of Historic sites and Cultural events to explore.

Vacationers Home CheckList Everything You Should Know BeforeYou Leave - If you are planning on being away from your home for an extended amount of time, it is important that you secure your home.

Looking for Luxury Hotels for Less in Australia - The Commonwealth of Australia is the largest island on earth and the smallest continent.

KANCHANABURI The Perfect Getaway From Bangkok - One of Thailand's premier tourist attractions, Kanchanaburi, lies a mere two hours from the capital.

What to Expect My First Cruise Experience - Some years ago my wife and I decided to take a cruise.


What's UP?

Navigating the Tribeca Film Festival

With more than 200 films and almost as many parties, what to do?
» Read more

Metropolitan Museum of Art

"The Met is a universal museum: every category of art in every known medium from every part of the world during every epoch of recorded time is represented ...
» Read more


This 57,545 seat stadium is home to the New York Yankees, baseball's most successful team.

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

JFK, in Queens (at the south end of the Van Wyck Expressway), primarily handles international flights.
General Info: 718-244-4444
Parking Info: 718-244-4168

Visitor's centers

Visitor's centers can provide you with free maps and general information about New York.
For information on visiting New York, contact the New York Convention and Visitor's Bureau. You can also call them at 800-NYC-VISIT (U.S. and Canada) or 212/397-8222 (elsewhere). To speak with a multilingual counselor: call 212/484-1222 Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm EST.

© Copyright 2024 York Magazine. All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication in part or whole strictly prohibited by international copyright law.