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Tobacco Beetles (interesting thread from a different site)

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I often read the cigar "forum" on reddit known as /r/cigars.   I came across an interesting post from a food scientist that works with things such as mold and various types of vermin.  (@CanuckSARTech) excluded. :P

I approached the OP to provide a link back to the thread and the OP was fine with it.  So, please read through the link and feel free to discuss here.  I found it very interesting.  FYI.  Some of the responders to the OP also had some good info which some of you may/may not be already aware of.

So without further ado.  Read On  

Thanks to user "Aulm" on reddit..

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Good read mate, thanks for posting. Most of my data regarding rH in cigars comes from the study of Aw (water activity). Preserving food and preserving tobacco have similar roots.

-Piggy

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33 minutes ago, PigFish said:

Good read mate, thanks for posting. Most of my data regarding rH in cigars comes from the study of Aw (water activity). Preserving food and preserving tobacco have similar roots.

-Piggy

 

Hey Piggy-

What is "typical" Aw for cigars stored at normal conditions (say 70F/62rH)?

Never seen a number for this, and rather curious...

TIA

 

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An instrument for this runs about a few grand and I have wanted one for years now, since studying water activity. It is on the menu but I don't have one today. The only way to generate that data is to have the Aw machine and a test cigar. I have the test cigars, but no machine... 

Cheers! -Piggy

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43 minutes ago, PigFish said:

An instrument for this runs about a few grand and I have wanted one for years now, since studying water activity. It is on the menu but I don't have one today. The only way to generate that data is to have the Aw machine and a test cigar. I have the test cigars, but no machine... 

Cheers! -Piggy

Actually, I work for a contract testing lab, and have access to an Aqualab 4TE. I might be able to get a number from my lab, stay tuned...

I am very interested in the data myself, but was hoping to just get a data point and not have to coerce my coworkers to generate data for my curiosity.

 

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2 hours ago, JamesKPolkEsq said:

Actually, I work for a contract testing lab, and have access to an Aqualab 4TE. I might be able to get a number from my lab, stay tuned...

I am very interested in the data myself, but was hoping to just get a data point and not have to coerce my coworkers to generate data for my curiosity.

 

I just don't have the coin today to toss at this. I really wish that I did... As you know I take cigar keeping seriously and this is a logical step for me. Please keep me posted on the results, I am very interested.

Of course, so is a chilled mirror hygrometer that I can use to 'certify' my own instruments. That is on the wishlist too!

-Ray

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1 hour ago, PigFish said:

I just don't have the coin today to toss at this. I really wish that I did... As you know I take cigar keeping seriously and this is a logical step for me. Please keep me posted on the results, I am very interested.

Of course, so is a chilled mirror hygrometer that I can use to 'certify' my own instruments. That is on the wishlist too!

-Ray

I'm planning on (if allowed access to the instrument, which I have good reason to believe will happen), testing some CC and some NC (since they are kept at different conditions) that have been Boveda regulated (which are as good as calibrated in my book).

I'm off work for a few weeks, but will investigate upon return.

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So, I found this during my quarterly check earlier this week.  ULA MAY 14 Siglo VI.  I immediately bagged all contents of the humidor and put the first round of maybe three in the freezer.  The link above states 6 days at 0C for adults.  At -17C (0F), what do you think duration should be to be as safe as possible?  I have placed round two in a refrigerator for the time being at 4C to hopefully slow the degradation or quicken the freezing time period.  Thoughts?

Also - in cleaning my humidor, I have vacuumed every shelf, nook, ledge, etc.  Will wiping it with distilled water and vacuuming again help while I was for the acclimatizing process to begin yet again?

This all stems from a few weeks of cooler temps in the AM, when my wife (Not placing blame on her whatsoever) turned the AC off in the house.  When I went to do my quarterly check the humidor temp was nearly 24C.  Clearly - I should splurge for a cooling device in my humidor.  Typically temperature never exceeds 20C.

What other precautions should I take in prep to get back to normal?

IMG_4069.jpg

IMG_4070.jpg

IMG_4071.jpg

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Before bagging them all and freezing, inspect literally every stick you have for other breakouts, this way you know where you stand on your entire collection

freeze everything and you will have peace of mind moving forward...my successful method is Double bag, get as much air out as possible, freeze for 3 days, then remove sticks from bags and refrigerate for 5-10 hours then back in humi, others may chime in but that has worked for me

freeze everything you buy from here on, cooling device not needed once you freeze

seperate the current sticks affected from the Beetles in a separate container

Not the end of the world but it does suck a little bit

good luck!

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One of the risks of collecting.  While it hurts losing a portion of my collection is better than losing all of it.  

I figured I would get everything into a deep freeze ASAP, then check again once I have them back into "tempered" conditions.  

Do you have any additional recommendations for cleaning the humidor itself? 

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2 minutes ago, HavanaSunday said:

One of the risks of collecting.  While it hurts losing a portion of my collection is better than losing all of it.  

I figured I would get everything into a deep freeze ASAP, then check again once I have them back into "tempered" conditions.  

Do you have any additional recommendations for cleaning the humidor itself? 

Just vacuum it out to make it like new and start over, but that's just me

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Like Bart sez, double bag when you put your stash in the freezer.  Keeps the cigars from picking up any freezer scents (my wife keeps frozen mashed garlic in there! :o )  Looks like you're using freezer bags anyway, so that's good.

I'm guessing the Siglo VI were in a cab together?  Not out in the open on your shelves?

I once got a live beetle and larva in a single PSD 4 tubo in a cardboard pack of 15 tubos out of Germany.  They of course had been frozen, but HSA freezes in master cases so there's possibly quite a difference in temperatures throughout that mass.  This lone beetle managed to chew his way out of the cigar and die.  The larva was completely dead.  The Japanese Tobacco research tables detail how much time and cold temp it takes to kill a beetle, a larva, a temperature adjusted larva, and eggs.  It's all different, and this helps to explain the occasional bug sneaking through.

However these buggers are sexual reproducers, so you need two beetles and of different sexes to get a real infestation.  Sounds like you've gotten it under control and your cleaning and vacuuming will do the trick.  I've always assumed that the beetles will only lay their eggs in tobacco, not wood, but I don't know that to be true.

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2 hours ago, HavanaSunday said:

So, I found this during my quarterly check earlier this week.  ULA MAY 14 Siglo VI.  I immediately bagged all contents of the humidor and put the first round of maybe three in the freezer.  The link above states 6 days at 0C for adults.  At -17C (0F), what do you think duration should be to be as safe as possible?  I have placed round two in a refrigerator for the time being at 4C to hopefully slow the degradation or quicken the freezing time period.  Thoughts?

Also - in cleaning my humidor, I have vacuumed every shelf, nook, ledge, etc.  Will wiping it with distilled water and vacuuming again help while I was for the acclimatizing process to begin yet again?

This all stems from a few weeks of cooler temps in the AM, when my wife (Not placing blame on her whatsoever) turned the AC off in the house.  When I went to do my quarterly check the humidor temp was nearly 24C.  Clearly - I should splurge for a cooling device in my humidor.  Typically temperature never exceeds 20C.

What other precautions should I take in prep to get back to normal?

IMG_4069.jpg

 

i would grind some tobacco mix it with a bit of honey, make a thick paste kinda glue and put it with a needle in those holes.  You should be able to smoke them.

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1 hour ago, PapaDisco said:

I once got a live beetle and larva in a single PSD 4 tubo in a cardboard pack of 15 tubos out of Germany.

1 hour ago, PapaDisco said:

This lone beetle managed to chew his way out of the cigar and die.  The larva was completely dead.

 

Papa :confused:  :surprised:  :no:

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2 hours ago, PapaDisco said:

Like Bart sez, double bag when you put your stash in the freezer.  Keeps the cigars from picking up any freezer scents (my wife keeps frozen mashed garlic in there! :o )  Looks like you're using freezer bags anyway, so that's good.

I'm guessing the Siglo VI were in a cab together?  Not out in the open on your shelves?

I once got a live beetle and larva in a single PSD 4 tubo in a cardboard pack of 15 tubos out of Germany.  They of course had been frozen, but HSA freezes in master cases so there's possibly quite a difference in temperatures throughout that mass.  This lone beetle managed to chew his way out of the cigar and die.  The larva was completely dead.  The Japanese Tobacco research tables detail how much time and cold temp it takes to kill a beetle, a larva, a temperature adjusted larva, and eggs.  It's all different, and this helps to explain the occasional bug sneaking through.

However these buggers are sexual reproducers, so you need two beetles and of different sexes to get a real infestation.  Sounds like you've gotten it under control and your cleaning and vacuuming will do the trick.  I've always assumed that the beetles will only lay their eggs in tobacco, not wood, but I don't know that to be true.

Yes, a cab together.  As soon as I opened to check on them I noticed the holes, immediately closed it back up and began bagging (after a few expletives).

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Left some cigars unfreezed in Havana for like 16 months ... never again.

Here the results of NOT freezing them. The beetles were just smiling back at me ...

59dfc26083e9f_beetles002.thumb.jpg.a6a6a2880196cc832281d6e6b21be557.jpg59dfc2636977a_beetles003.thumb.jpg.0b7902e985a2bfd51335822aa3dcb844.jpg59dfc25dc6e85_beetles001.thumb.jpg.03cad2545ab2d67d6bb206c1ed7a85da.jpg

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Were these export or bought in Havana?

4 hours ago, HavanaSunday said:

So, I found this during my quarterly check earlier this week.  ULA MAY 14 Siglo VI.  I immediately bagged all contents of the humidor and put the first round of maybe three in the freezer.  The link above states 6 days at 0C for adults.  At -17C (0F), what do you think duration should be to be as safe as possible?  I have placed round two in a refrigerator for the time being at 4C to hopefully slow the degradation or quicken the freezing time period.  Thoughts?

Also - in cleaning my humidor, I have vacuumed every shelf, nook, ledge, etc.  Will wiping it with distilled water and vacuuming again help while I was for the acclimatizing process to begin yet again?

This all stems from a few weeks of cooler temps in the AM, when my wife (Not placing blame on her whatsoever) turned the AC off in the house.  When I went to do my quarterly check the humidor temp was nearly 24C.  Clearly - I should splurge for a cooling device in my humidor.  Typically temperature never exceeds 20C.

What other precautions should I take in prep to get back to normal?

IMG_4069.jpg

IMG_4070.jpg

IMG_4071.jpg

Were the Siglo's exports or bought in Havana?

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17 minutes ago, HavanaSunday said:

Export.

A bit scary. 

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Just because HSA freezes their export stock, doesn't mean that a beetle can't hop on board somewhere along the journey from Cuba to vendor/s and finally to you.

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Ok, I read through this thread 4 days ago and had a dream about beetles in my stash last night. Does everyone freeze purchases for a few days? I have not done that with any of my orders.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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On 10/15/2017 at 7:06 AM, Stogiepuffer said:

Ok, I read through this thread 4 days ago and had a dream about beetles in my stash last night. Does everyone freeze purchases for a few days? I have not done that with any of my orders.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

I don’t. Just taking a calculated risk, I guess. 

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It does depend on how you store. Specifically the temperatures your cigars face. If you’re seeing higher temperatures, it might make more sense to do it. 

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