Current Biology Articles

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Preventing Tobacco Beetles in Cigars

I hate cigar termites as I call them, commonly refered to as tobacco beetles. I'll never forget my first glimpse into a box of Cuban Montecristo that these heartless monsters shredded. It looked as if the cigars had been shot from a short distance with bird shot sized pellets. All of the care and hard work involved in growing the tobacco, and then handrolling the cigars, all of the endless months and years of aging, and the eventual painful purchase price was all a big waste of time and money. What an absolute disapointment opening this box of cigars on a special occasion would be. It would surely dampen the mood, and probably make it somewhat somber, especially if there are other serious cigar smokers around that understand what has happened.
The 2-3 millimeter adult tobacco beetle and his sibling clones can gash their way through a box of precious Monte's just as quick as a box of el cheapo's because they do not discriminate. If you experience repeated infestations, my advice is to deep freeze every cigar that comes into your possession. The process is quite simple: Make a spot in your freezer large enough to accommodate your smokes. Put the cigars, boxes and all, into the freezer for 3 days. Remove them from the freezer after the 72 hour wait and transport them to the lowest shelf in your refrigerator, the crisper it's called on some models. Leave them there for 24 hours. Don't take them directly back into the room atmosphere as this will cause rapid thawing resulting in swelling, which will result in a tear soaked funeral for the smokes.
During the wait it's a good idea to clean your humidor with a damp cloth in hopes of catching any of the stray larva which may be resting on the boxes floor. Never use any cleaners or pesticides inside your humidor or it will forever smell of the chemicals applied which will render it useless for the storage of your cigars. Clean, preferably distilled water is the only moisture source you should use when cleaning the walls of your spanish cedar built humidor.
Lift the box onto it's side and brush downward with the cloth, cleaning the floor and sending the "no-see-ems" down to the side panel of the box. Pay close attention to the final wipe down in this area, cleaning into the corners and wiping toward the top of the box, or "out" of the open lid, hence sending any loose particles away from your humidors interior surfaces. If it is small enough, lift the humidor overhead with the lid open and the box upside down. Have an assistant reach in with the cloth and wipe the box out. Another great idea is to use compressed air to thoroughly blast away all of the future bugs. Either way you decide to do it, this is an important step towards beetle annihilation so wipe and wipe and then wipe some more. If even one larva is left inside your box, the freezer treated cigars or any other cigars that you add, will probably become re infested.
Since beetles prefer a temperature of 74F and above, you should try to keep your humidor at a lower range of around 68F-70F, even a touch cooler is preferable as opposed to warmer.
Finally, if all else has failed and your supply has been ravaged by the insatiable muncher of puros, there is one last course of action. Take the entire infested box, cigars and all, and toss it onto a burn pile, douse it with kerosene and throw a match onto it. This method is of course expensive, but the tiny little cries of those notorious devils, and the fact that they can never reproduce and spread their evil seeds to another smokers stash can become a tempting fix for someone frustrated with tobacco beetles.
Ed Brown is owner/operator of Tarheel Cigars - Discount Smoke Shop located on the web at http://www.tarheelcigars.com/
Contact email: admin@tarheelcigars.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Edward_Brown

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