Cigar beatle advice


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Hi all,

 

Having a bit of a sad week over here, discovered a massive infestation in my walk in humidor. So far 250 sticks confirmed to have been infected, obvious holes and all.

 

I am now going through the boxes one by one, any that exhibit any signs of infestation are being frozen yet again, this time for 5 days instead of 3.

 

I had three questions:

 

1- What would be your recommendation to prevent this from reoccurring?

 

2- Does refreezing the cigars have any impact on flavor or aging potential? I read something about drying up oils or somesuch...

 

3- What to do with the infected sticks? some of them are priceless including 2003 Cohiba DC EL :(((( Someone says there is a way to fix them but did not clarify

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1 minute ago, Fakhm said:

1- What would be your recommendation to prevent this from reoccurring?

Temps below 69 deg F. This is the only reason you're having beetle issues after freezing.

2 minutes ago, Fakhm said:

Does refreezing the cigars have any impact on flavor or aging potential?

No

2 minutes ago, Fakhm said:

What to do with the infected sticks?

Cigar glue some wrapper pieces over the holes. Not much else you can do. Enjoy the flavor of roasted beetle.

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49 minutes ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Temps below 69 deg F. This is the only reason you're having beetle issues after freezing.

Scientific experimentation recommends below 18C which the Habanos recommendation of keeping their cigars at 16-18C coincidentally coincides with.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249887786_Low-temperature_as_an_alternative_to_fumigation_to_disinfest_stored_tobacco_of_the_cigarette_beetle_Lasioderma_serricorne_F_Coleoptera_Anobiidae

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  • Always quarantine new cigars, even after freezing.
  • Re-freeze all your current stock. Make sure the temps get down low enough, especially in the centre of the bundle.
  • Vacuum your walk-in.
  • Try to maintain temps below 18C in your walk-in.

As for the affected cigars, patch them up with a bit of spare leaf (harvest from a donor cigar) and pectin/vegetable gum, then smoke them.

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If you killed the eggs by freezing, then there should be no outbreak even if temps creep up.  If you added sticks that were not treated, then that bet is off.

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9 hours ago, sho671 said:

Scientific experimentation recommends below 18C which the Habanos recommendation of keeping their cigars at 16-18C coincidentally coincides with.

True, but those temps can be difficult for many to maintain. 69° F should be enough to prevent hatching of eggs for all practical purposes. 

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6 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

True, but those temps can be difficult for many to maintain. 69° F should be enough to prevent hatching of eggs for all practical purposes. 

If there are no viable eggs due to a prior freeze cycle, then temps over 18C (64.4F) would be fine, but if not then 69F would not be a good idea. The same article that recommends less than 18C notes that the majority of eggs (>80%) in their study hatched at 20C (68F). The real solution is to freeze everything upon receipt and make sure they are frozen at a sufficient temperature for an adequate amount of time that will result in a 100% mortality rate of beetles and their eggs.

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5 hours ago, MorgothsServant said:
Another option would be to introduce one of the beetles to an avant-garde multimedia artist beetle (female) from Japan. Let them get close, and pretty soon she’ll start tagging along to beetle meetings and generally insinuating herself into the beetles’ creative process. The original beetles will ultimately produce some of their best work during this time, but eventually they’ll grow weary of it all and go their separate ways and leave the humidor.  RIP JL


This made me laugh.

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I was expecting this...

920446505bbf7a4753b8a1cca66c2579.jpg.13a5991384fd2590cbe89c7952d587be.jpg

But what I got was a horror story. Sorry for your loss mate. I can't imagine a beetle outbreak. ?

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16 hours ago, MorgothsServant said:

First, this is a nightmare and it really sucks that you have to go through this, especially this time of year. Second, I’m sorry but I can’t resist the autocorrect spelling in the title of the post in light of the 40th anniversary. 

Another option would be to introduce one of the beetles to an avant-garde multimedia artist beetle (female) from Japan. Let them get close, and pretty soon she’ll start tagging along to beetle meetings and generally insinuating herself into the beetles’ creative process. The original beetles will ultimately produce some of their best work during this time, but eventually they’ll grow weary of it all and go their separate ways and leave the humidor.  RIP JL

This was great! ?

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I'm certainly no expert, but the only other thing I can think of that I didn't see mentioned was all cigars were removed and re-frozen but could a beetle or eggs have remained in the humidor?  A commercial factory may fumigate the building with a gas that kills beetles but doesn't affect the cigars or wood shelves, but as far as I know nothing like that is available to consumers.  You certainly don't want to soak all your surfaces in bad chemicals.  The best I could think would be wipe all the surfaces down with distilled water really good and clean the wiping material regularly.  

Also in some of the things I have read and I could be way off... again this is me extrapolating from information I have read...  If humidity is slightly high but the temperature is right but temperature is close to the border...  it may be possible the ambient temperature is actually slightly lower than the temperature of your tobacco.  Think of hay in a barn.  If the hay is put away too wet the barn may be 85 degrees but they hay ferments and gets hot enough to eventually start a fire and burn the barn down.  That's an extreme example, but if you think your temperature is just right or just under the border I could imagine the inside of a slightly humid cigar with some very slight fermentation activity being 1 degree warmer possibly pushing it into hatching range.  That's just my crazy paranoid thought though and I'm sure it is highly unlikely or nearly impossible.  Stranger things have probably happened though.

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