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Cigars 102: Cigar Beetles

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

I get home from a long day at work, I open up my humidor, and I notice a few of my sticks have small holes. At first, I didn’t pay any mind to it, but a few days later, I noticed small insects in my box. THEY’RE EATING MY CIGARS!!!! What the hell is this $#@%!! The Cigar beetle has invaded.

This is a naturally occurring phenomenon in the tobacco fields. The small insect eats and lays its eggs in the plants, the tobacco is harvested, and the eggs carried off with it. It can survive in an unhatched/dormant state all through the processes of cigar making, from fermentation to rolling.

Believe it or not, almost all cigars can contain these little creatures. But how can we avoid this issue? There are a few things you’ll need to know, like where did your cigars come from? Does the manufacturer take steps to get rid of the eggs?

For example, PERDOMO Cigars freezes their tobacco during the cigar making process to

kill the beetle eggs. Let’s say my brand doesn’t do this. Can I freeze cigars? The answer is yes, but there is a process. After freezing for seven days, place the cigars in the refrigerator for an additional seven days. Take them out and allow the cigars to come to room temperature before placing them in the humidor.

What if I don’t want to freeze them? Maybe I’m afraid the freezing process may damage my cigars! That’s okay too!! Another way to avoid them is to watch the temperature and humidity of your humidor. High humidity and warm temperatures are a perfect environment for the cigar beetle. As seen in other sections of this series, this is another reason for the 70/70 rule.

Okay, but what happens if you couldn’t avoid them? How do you save the humidor full of premium sticks? We like to pay attention to our babies. Assess them, rotate them, inspect the wrappers, and if we find anything odd or suspicious, remove the infected stick, and keep it in a plastic bag until you’re sure of the issue. We hope this article helps you, the fellow cigar lover to enjoy and protect those precious sticks!

For additional information, here is the scientific classification for further research.

Higher classification: Lasioderma

Scientific name: Lasioderma serricorne

Phylum: Arthropoda

Order: Beetles

Rank: Species

Family: Ptinidae

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