Now that summer is here, we must protect our cigars from a tiny but uncomfortable enemy: Lasioderma serricorne.

Also called the tobacco beetle, it appears when storage temperatures exceed 20°C. Although hibernates as larvae, in favorable weather conditions it can develop throughout the year. It is therefore very important that our humidor (or store) has adequate ventilation, preventing the fatal combination of high humidity and temperature that facilitate the development of this tiny beetle.

You can tell that a cigar is infected when you notice that small holes have been bored through the outer cigar leaves. The insect, during its short life (two to six weeks), reaches a size up to 3.5 mm. If you find that your cigars are infested, immediately remove them from the humidor, carefully examine one by one and separate those infected with those which haven’t. Once this task is done you can place the unaffected cigars back into the humidor having previously made sure that the humidor is egg and beetle free.

kolumbus-lasioderma2A good way of ensuring the cigars are beetle free is by placing them in the freezer for 48 hours, always ensuring they are shielded from any food/other aromas. Once the 48 hour quarantine period in the freezer, and so as to prevent the breaking of the now frozen and brittle outer leaves of the cigar, place them in the fridge for two hours for a more gradual temperature adjustment ahead of placing them back into the humidor. Note that it is not advisable to store them in refrigerators permanently due to the low humidity levels.

Never clean the humidor with pesticides or chemicals. The cigar aroma would be altered having a negative impact on the taste of our precious cigars.