harryleech

Wood Mites: Annoying little buggers

29 posts in this topic

Anyone else have a problem with woodmites? I got an order from Spain about a year ago which was full of the little bastard$ and the humidor which they were in has been plauged with them since. I put all new cigars in 2-3 ziploc bags, and then they go into the fridge for one day, freezer for seven, fridge again for a day, stabilise for a day and then back to the humi. And I still have the little buggers!

Any ideas/remdeies on how to get rid of the little gits? My other 2 x humi's are fine, just seems to be this one humi that I have problems with. I know they don't damage the actual cigars (thanks Andy) but I still find their presence pretty annoying.

In an ideal world I'd just smoke all 300 cigars and start afresh with a new batch, but my health or wallet can't take that course of action at the moment!

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» I put all new cigars in 2-3

» ziploc bags, and then they go into the fridge for one day, freezer for seven

Dont put the cigars in the fridge before you freeze, freeze them straight from room temp. Putting them in the fridge may help avoid damage AFTER freezing, but if you do it before you freeze, the mites will have time to adapt to the temp change.

The mites are hard to get rid of. IMO your freezing although not perfect was sufficient; chances are there were still mites in the humidor and that these have multiplied and come back. I would suggest brushing the cigars off, double ziplocking the cigars and freeze them and while the cigars are in the freezer to take the humi outside and blow it out with a hair drier. Also open, clean out, dip in alcohol the humidifier and replace the inside with new beads. After you've done that, freeze the humidor and humidifier as well (freeze the humidifier before installing the new beads).

Mites appear when it's too warm and humid. Make sure your RH is 65% max and that the temp is kept under 70°F, ideally 60-65°F. If you have cigars in boxes, make sure you blow out and freeze the boxes too. Everything that is in direct or indirect contact with the cigars must be wiped down and frozen.

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Claudius has nailed it.

One other think is that the mites hate light. After freezing the boxes I would vaccum or shake them out and then leave them open in the sun for a day or so (no....not the cigars as well ;-) )

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Hi Claudius,

Thanks for the help, looks like my Sunday afternoon's activities decided then! I think it may be one of two things based on your info:

1. The little bastards adjusted to the temp due to the day in the fridge before freezing. I'll be going straight to the freezer this time and save the day in the fridge for afterwards.

2. Some of them were hiding out in my acryl-polymer humidifier. Sneaky little buggers that they are, I wouldn't put it past them.

I always freeze the cigars in their boxes, so I don't think that they could have been hiding out there and I hoovered out and wiped down the inside of the humi last time while the cigars were in the freezer.

I won't be able to freeze the humi itself as it's too big (It takes about 12 boxes and my freezer is small.)

Anyone else have any experience with these? Or is it just me? :-D

Thanks again Claudius, I'll let you know how I get on...

Cheers,

Harry

» » I put all new cigars in 2-3

» » ziploc bags, and then they go into the fridge for one day, freezer for

» seven

»

» Dont put the cigars in the fridge before you freeze, freeze them straight

» from room temp. Putting them in the fridge may help avoid damage AFTER

» freezing, but if you do it before you freeze, the mites will have time to

» adapt to the temp change.

»

» The mites are hard to get rid of. IMO your freezing although not perfect

» was sufficient; chances are there were still mites in the humidor and that

» these have multiplied and come back. I would suggest brushing the cigars

» off, double ziplocking the cigars and freeze them and while the cigars are

» in the freezer to take the humi outside and blow it out with a hair drier.

» Also open, clean out, dip in alcohol the humidifier and replace the inside

» with new beads. After you've done that, freeze the humidor and humidifier

» as well (freeze the humidifier before installing the new beads).

»

» Mites appear when it's too warm and humid. Make sure your RH is 65% max

» and that the temp is kept under 70°F, ideally 60-65°F. If you have cigars

» in boxes, make sure you blow out and freeze the boxes too. Everything that

» is in direct or indirect contact with the cigars must be wiped down and

» frozen.

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» Claudius has nailed it.

»

» One other think is that the mites hate light. After freezing the boxes I

» would vaccum or shake them out and then leave them open in the sun for a

» day or so (no....not the cigars as well ;-) )

Thanks for the advice Prez, but you do know that I live in Ireland, right? It may be 'summer' here, but I've yet to see sun for long enough to leave cigar boxes outside! They'd be rather waterlogged afterwards! :-D Would a lamp work as well?

Other than the weather it's a great place to visit, you'll have to add it to your list...

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» Anyone else have any experience with these? Or is it just me? :-D

»

Thankfully, I've never had trouble with any kind of cigar critters.

Must be the clean living.

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» Thanks for the advice Prez, but you do know that I live in Ireland, right?

»

What was I thinking :lol:

Try putting an empty box in the microwave 15 seconds at a time on Medium. Do short bursts to protect the boxes and monitor how many blasts or shots before the mites are dead. You will work it out before long.

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I have the same trouble (i live in Spain). And i'm worst because i have 5 little cedar desk humidors and some tins. I moved the cigars between them (i don't do it now) and i have woodmites everywhere, inside the tins too. I freeze cigars and humidors for 3-4 days, but they don't die.The only way i have found to kill they is to smoke all cigars , and when the humidor is empty put it for a week into the freezer. In last weeks i have smoke the cigars of two of the humidors, and after freezer there aren't mites inside. I'm afraid if they come back when i fill the humidors again.

While i have a hard work this summer with the rest of cigars :-D . This will be the Smoke summer. I will begin in two days in Spanish Beaches ;-)

this was my entry:

http://www.friendsofhabanos.com/board_entr...id=80155#p80155

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» » Anyone else have any experience with these? Or is it just me? :-D

» »

» Thankfully, I've never had trouble with any kind of cigar critters.

» Must be the clean living.

Friendsofhabanos and Americans and Brits dont tend to have the problem as they dont store the cigars so damn humid (and often warm) as they do in Switzerland / Germany / Spain / France. The German forums are full of mite threads... that's where I got the above from. :-)

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» Friendsofhabanos and Americans and Brits dont tend to have the problem as

» they dont store the cigars so damn humid (and often warm) as they do in

» Switzerland / Germany / Spain / France. The German forums are full of

» mite threads... that's where I got the above from. :-)

You mean....... it's not...... the clean living?

Claudius, is this a matter of some people in these countries intentionally storing under these conditions,

or more a matter of them dealing as best they can with their climates?

(I'm assuming the latter)

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» Claudius, is this a matter of some people in these countries intentionally

» storing under these conditions,

» or more a matter of them dealing as best they can with their climates?

» (I'm assuming the latter)

Most people in Europe are ignorant of the ideal storing conditions for cigars. You hear crap like "we like to keep the climate like Cuba, Cuba is the best climate for cigars" from people like Portmann or Gérard. Portmann has learned and now runs 70% instead of the previous 80% RH (I'm serious), Gérard has a brand new computer controlled climate (A/C and humidification) system that he runs at 80% (serious again). He even told me the system has this cool feature of adding a little spray of water after the door is opened and closed so he can run it at lower RH. When I pointed out that he was running 80% already he had a stupid look on his face and changed the subject. French dealers keep the humis at 75% RH, the Germans at about 70%, the Swiss seem to like 72%, the Spanish either have water dripping from the ceiling or 50%... it's insane!

There is one guy in Germany who understands how to build humidor cabinets and ECUs for humidification control - I have 2 of his setups, one for the cabinet and one in the cellar. They work flawlessly. Much better (more accurate and it has a water level indicator) than the "set and forget" yoghurt cup with fan controller :-D If only people here knew what levels of temp and RH they need to set these devices to!

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That is funny stuff, Claudius. Do they never smoke these soggy cigars? LOL

OTOH, the mites may provide a little added complexity - that meaty flavor a cigar smoker craves sometimes. :)

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» That is funny stuff, Claudius. Do they never smoke these soggy cigars?

They do! And they go out all the time! LOL These guys are the local dealer's best customers... for butane lighter gas! :lol:

I asked them why they like them at 75%, that I find them spongy. They told me that they like the resistive draw the high humidity gives to the cigar. :-|

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» Ahh, but Claudius, haven't you heard about tasting humidors? It's quite the

» thing...

»

» http://www.credo.fr/uk/home_uk.htm

NEW

Cigar Tasting Humidifier

- the SUP'AIR is a humidifier for tasting. It allows a more important water content, for the smoker who likes his cigars smooth and damp (minimum 80 %) . It is used in a second cigar box dedicated to consumption.

:surprised::lol2: :lol2: :lol2::clap:

That's unreal, mate! LMAO

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» Most people in Europe are ignorant of the ideal storing conditions for cigars. You hear crap like "we like to keep the climate like Cuba, Cuba is the best climate for cigars" from people like Portmann or Gérard.

This is unbelievable (but obviously true). Have they never read the leaflet enclosed in every box of Cuban cigars??????????

"For fullest enjoyment, these cigars should be installed in a humidor, away from products with strong odour and under correct conditions of temperature (16ºC to 18ºC) and humidity (65% to 70%)."

That's 65% to 70%

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» » Most people in Europe are ignorant of the ideal storing conditions for

» cigars. You hear crap like "we like to keep the climate like Cuba, Cuba

» is the best climate for cigars" from people like Portmann or Gérard.

»

» This is unbelievable (but obviously true). Have they never read the

» leaflet enclosed in every box of Cuban cigars??????????

»

» "For fullest enjoyment, these cigars should be installed in a humidor,

» away from products with strong odour and under correct conditions of

» temperature (16ºC to 18ºC) and humidity (65% to 70%)."

»

» That's 65% to 70%

That's clearly a goal Trevor: The more you exceed it, the better the cigar!

Seriously though, I've always been told 65-70% and 60-70 degrees temp. I've always kept my cigars at 70%, but temp a good bit lower (Irish temps.) If it means less wood mites I'll try 65%...

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» Ahh, but Claudius, haven't you heard about tasting humidors? It's quite the

» thing...

»

» http://www.credo.fr/uk/home_uk.htm

That is freaking amazing!

I keep mine at 63 - 65%; I can't even imagine what smoking a cigar at 80% would be like... :surprised:

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»

» Dont put the cigars in the fridge before you freeze, freeze them straight

» from room temp. Putting them in the fridge may help avoid damage AFTER

» freezing, but if you do it before you freeze, the mites will have time to

» adapt to the temp change.

»

» The mites are hard to get rid of. IMO your freezing although not perfect

» was sufficient; chances are there were still mites in the humidor and that

» these have multiplied and come back. I would suggest brushing the cigars

» off, double ziplocking the cigars and freeze them and while the cigars are

» in the freezer to take the humi outside and blow it out with a hair drier.

» Also open, clean out, dip in alcohol the humidifier and replace the inside

» with new beads. After you've done that, freeze the humidor and humidifier

» as well (freeze the humidifier before installing the new beads).

»

» Mites appear when it's too warm and humid. Make sure your RH is 65% max

» and that the temp is kept under 70°F, ideally 60-65°F. If you have cigars

» in boxes, make sure you blow out and freeze the boxes too. Everything that

» is in direct or indirect contact with the cigars must be wiped down and

» frozen.

Hi Claudius,

Thanks again for the pointers on this, you've been really helpful: I have a gut feeling that the problem may be in the humidifier as the little bastards could have hidden in there while the boxes were being frozen and the inside was wiped down. I will empty it out, run it under some near boiling water, dry it, freeze it and then replace the beads with 65% rh beads. Just a few more questions;

Will freezing the humidor damage it or the built in hygrometer/temp gauge? Do I need to wrap the humidor as well? And should I bring the temp down slowly after the freezing process (ala the cigars) in order to prevent damage to the joints, seal etc.

All things considered, would it be safer to blow out the humidor, wipe it down thoroughly and perhaps placing it opened in front of a bright lamp for a few days?

The humidor is too large to go into my current freezer (it's about 24 inches wide x 20 high etc) but I'm getting a new chest freezer in my new house next month, so if safe I will put it in there as soon as I get it, along with about 20 boxes for some deep freezing!

Thanks again,

Harry

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» » Thanks for the advice Prez, but you do know that I live in Ireland,

» right?

» »

»

» What was I thinking :lol:

»

» Try putting an empty box in the microwave 15 seconds at a time on Medium.

» Do short bursts to protect the boxes and monitor how many blasts or shots

» before the mites are dead. You will work it out before long.

Thanks for the tips Prez: After all my bitching and moaning we've actually got gorgeous weather here today. You'll have to come and visit Ireland if you ever get tired of warm weather and cold beer!

I haven't tried microwaving the boxes yet, but do you think if I freeze the boxes for a week/10 days along with the cigars that this will be sufficient?

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Did you sort this one out Harry?

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» Did you sort this one out Harry?

Hi Prez,

Almost there. 2 of my 3 x Humi's are now at 65% and everything in them has been in the freezer for 7-10 days, fridge for one, room temp etc... No sign of the little gits.

The third has about 15 boxes in it: We're finishing up work on our new house in the next few weeks (hopefully!) and getting a new cabinet freezer, so I'm going to wait a week or two before I tackle that one and pop all the boxes in at once: It gets a bit tedious putting 2-3 boxes in at a go!

I'm a bit dubious about putting the Humi in the freezer, I might just wipe it down thoroughly and leave it open with a bright light nearby for a few hours. You think that would be sufficient? I'll be changing the humidifier when I do this. Thanks again for all the help,

H

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I am dealing with these wood mites too and this post has provided much assistance. Thank you to all contributors.

1. How can I get more info on and get in touch with this fellow in Germany with the superior humidification system. New York summers are quite humid and though my cabinet was well made, its fans and set and forget digital device are no match for NY humidity. I will be downsizing to a much smaller humidor probably along the lines of a large desktop type and I would like to avoid the high RH issue in the new unit.

» Claudius, is this a matter of some people in these countries intentionally

» storing under these conditions,

» or more a matter of them dealing as best they can with their climates?

» (I'm assuming the latter)

Most people in Europe are ignorant of the ideal storing conditions for cigars. You hear crap like "we like to keep the climate like Cuba, Cuba is the best climate for cigars" from people like Portmann or Gérard. Portmann has learned and now runs 70% instead of the previous 80% RH (I'm serious), Gérard has a brand new computer controlled climate (A/C and humidification) system that he runs at 80% (serious again). He even told me the system has this cool feature of adding a little spray of water after the door is opened and closed so he can run it at lower RH. When I pointed out that he was running 80% already he had a stupid look on his face and changed the subject. French dealers keep the humis at 75% RH, the Germans at about 70%, the Swiss seem to like 72%, the Spanish either have water dripping from the ceiling or 50%... it's insane!

There is one guy in Germany who understands how to build humidor cabinets and ECUs for humidification control - I have 2 of his setups, one for the cabinet and one in the cellar. They work flawlessly. Much better (more accurate and it has a water level indicator) than the "set and forget" yoghurt cup with fan controller :-D If only people here knew what levels of temp and RH they need to set these devices to!

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One more thing. After blowing out the inside of the cabinet humidor, what product is safe to use to wipe it down with? I read in this post to use rubbing (ethyl) alcohol. Is this ok to use?

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