Cigar Beetles

What Are Cigar Beetles & How Do I Get Rid of Them?

The dreaded cigar beetle is a nightmare for any cigar smoker. Cigar beetles can quickly destroy the contents of your humidor within a matter of days. While cigar beetles are no bigger than a pin head, their excessive eating habits and ability to breed can quickly destroy your cigars. You may be wondering how cigar beetles got into your cigars in the first place. During the growing process, the cigar beetle forms larvae within the leaves of the tobacco. Although cigar manufacturers take multiple steps to prevent cigar beetles from ever hatching, in some cases, these pests do in fact survive. However, cigar beetles need certain conditions to hatch from their larvae. As a result, maintaining control over the temperature and humidity in your humidor is a critical element in preventing cigar beetles from infecting your cigars.

How Do I Detect Cigar Beetles?

​ Physically seeing a cigar beetle is rare. However, in severe cases, where cigar beetles have been left to fester, individuals may open their humidor to find an unwelcomed surprise. Yet, cases where beetle infestations can be visible to the naked eye are rare. Instead, detecting cigar beetles generally begins after a cigar smoker opens his or her humidor and sees a tiny whole in one or more of their cigars. Unfortunately, if you detect a small hole in one of your cigars, chances are that other cigars have also been affected by the infestation. This is further evident, as the tiny whole left behind in the cigar served as the cigar beetle’s method of escaping that one specific cigar. Thus, in tunneling out of the cigar and escaping, cigar beetles are able to wreak havoc on your other cigars.

Cigar Beetles

How Do I Eliminate Cigar Beetles From My Cigars?

Finding a tiny whole in your cigar can immediately send a cigar smoker into a panic. Since cigar beetles eat frequently, they can destroy more than a whole box of cigars within a forty-eight-hour period. Thus, it is critical that you take action if you believe your cigars are infected with cigar beetles.
In eliminating cigar beetles and saving the remainder of your cigars, we recommend placing your remaining cigars in a Ziploc bag. After you place the cigars in a Ziploc bag, it is imperative that you put them in the freezer for three days. In freezing the cigars, you are producing unfavorable conditions for the cigar beetles to survive. Furthermore, the larvae left by existing cigar beetles will be killed off by the freezing process, which prevents any future cigar beetles from hatching.
After three days has elapsed, the bag of cigars needs to be taken out of the freezer and placed in the refrigerator. While the cigar beetles will already be dead, the rise in temperature (from taking the cigars from the freezer to the counter) could split the cigar’s wrapper. Once a day has elapsed, your cigars can be placed back in your humidor. However, prior to placing your cigars back in your humidor, it is imperative that you take the time to wipe it down with a damp cloth or sponge. While some may ask if they should disinfect their humidor, we recommend using only a damp cloth or sponge Although disinfectants have countless uses, using these sprays or chemicals in your humidor can ruin the wood or leave a scent behind. This scent may linger and taint your cigars.

Can I Smoke a Cigar Damaged by Cigar Beetles?

The overall safety of smoking a cigar damaged by cigar beetles remains heavily debated. While some smokers will look at the pin whole and smoke the cigar anyway, others advocate in favor of cleaning the cigar with alcohol prior to smoking it. Despite these conflicting methods, Frontline Cigars recommends throwing out cigars that have been damaged by cigar beetles. Even if some believe it may be safe to smoke these cigars, the beetles will have eaten quite a bit of tobacco from the inside of the cigar. As a result, the taste of the cigar, the burn of the cigar and the in some cases, the cigar wrapper, will ultimately be changed (if not destroyed) by the cigar beetle.

In need of new cigars after an unwanted invasion of cigar beetles? Check out the growing selection of cigars offered by Frontline Cigars and remember, a portion of your purchase is donated directly to help a first responder, military professional or veteran in need. Frontline Cigars, the cigar with a purpose.