Cigar or tobacco beetles are a common nightmare for both cigar makers and smokers. Owing to their tiny size, these bugs are often difficult to spot and can ruin the most expensive or cheapest cigar. In the following article, we will better understand how you can protect your precious cigar collection and investigate an important question – do bugs eat cigars?
What is it?
Tobacco beetles, scientifically known as Lasioderma Serricorne, feed off tobacco and lay their eggs on tobacco leaves. So, do bugs eat cigars? Not quite, but they infest the leaves which are crucial to making the cigars, which in turn make their way to a cigar box. Although cigar manufacturers follow a treatment process to eliminate these tiny creatures, they can get away undetected.
How to spot them?
As soon as you receive a box of cigars at a store, examine your cigars thoroughly.
The first sign of infestation is spotting pin-sized holes on a cigar. On spotting this you may ask yourself – do bugs eat cigars? While cigars serve as the perfect breeding ground for these creatures, the holes are merely an indication of the movement of the bugs through a cigar.
The second examination is to check your humidor for small black colored droppings – beetle excrement. This can often be found inside the cigar as well. A method to look for any excrement inside a cigar is to tap your cigar over a sink. Any black droppings will confirm the presence of the same.
What can you do about it?
First, gather all cigars in a bag and place them in a freezer. Freezing cold temperatures are known to kill off all bugs and larvae.
Do bugs eat cigars in higher temperatures? No, they merely multiply in temperatures of approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cigars can be left in the freezer for an average of 4 days, after which they can be moved into a refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. The cigars must be handled with care during this time as they break or peel easily.
Once the 24-hour duration is complete, the cigars can be taken out and left to warm up to room temperature for at least 4 to 6 hours. Do note, the more the cigars, the longer it will take for the cigars to warm up.
Once the cigars have warmed up, they can be returned to a humidor. However, ensure that the cigars are examined once again and the humidor is cleaned with a dry clean cloth prior to placing the cigars back.
Can you smoke your cigar with holes?
While the bugs may appear to have eaten into your cigar, you can attempt to smoke them. You will need to cover the holes with your fingers but be warned infested cigars often taste stale and lack any flavor. It may leave you feeling sick, and the room smelling foul. Thus, smoking such a cigar eaten is definitely not recommended.