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"I am the smoker of the fine Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne Torpedo cigar, they are a medium to mild smoke. I buy them at Doc James Cigar & Golf in Shrub Oaks NY...." Ira

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Defeating the Tobacco Beetle

Many cigar smokers are unaware of the pesky little tobacco beetles that create more work for manufacturers and retailers. While tobacco beetles are simply a fact of life in the tobacco industry and cannot be completely prevented, they can be controlled to an extent. In order to kill the tobacco beetle and keep them from destroying your precious cigars, you must first understand what they look like, learn their life cycle and find out why they enjoy tobacco leaves.

Tobacco Beetle Basics

To determine whether or not you are currently dealing with tobacco beetles, you must first know exactly what you are looking for. These little creatures are about the size of a pinhead and can occasionally go unnoticed if not in a group. In most cases, when a beetle is discovered, many do not know what to do, and they handle the situation incorrectly, only causing more tobacco beetles to produce and feed on their product. If there is anything that these beetles need in life, it is tobacco and heat above 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Only living for around two to four weeks, they can be controlled when handled correctly.

Life of a Tobacco Beetle

The entire lifespan of a tobacco beetle only lasts for around 12 weeks' time. This includes the beginning of the cycle, such as the production of the egg, larva, pupa, and then their adult phase. Adult beetles can make their way through an entire tobacco leave, creating a big problem for those dealing with these insects. Because cigars are usually in a nice, warm environment that the beetles prefer, they typically choose to lay their eggs here. One hundred eggs can be birthed at one time, and they hatch within several days of being laid.

Protecting Your Cigars

Unfortunately, tobacco beetles cannot be 100 percent prevented, but there are some steps that consumers can take to ensure a healthy life for their cigars. When cigars are purchased, the humidors should be inspected every couple of days. Upon purchasing your cigars, or immediately after beetles are spotted, simply follow these steps to control the outbreak and prevent them from rearing their ugly heads again.

1. Empty all cigars in your humidor and other contents. Place each cigar in it's own sealed plastic bag.
2. After sealing the bags, place them all into your freezer.
3. After freezing for several days, move the bags with contents into the fridge.
4. Leave the cigars in the fridge for 24 hours and once complete, move them back into the humidor.

Freezing the cigars will kill any living tobacco beetles or eggs that have been laid on your cigar. Also, be sure to clean out the entire humidor, removing dead beetles and eggs that may be found. Ensure that your humidor never rises in temperature above 70 degrees as this can attract the beetles to come back, seeking refuge and looking for food within your precious tobacco leaves.