If you have been a cigar enthusiast for quite some time now, you would know all about the dreaded cigar beetles. If you donâ€™t, then it is about time that you did. These little critters may have been cute when we were little kids â€“ how many of you collected beetles way back when? â€“ but they spell disaster for your cigars! Ever since tobacco farmers can remember, these beetles have been a serious threat to their crop and thus, their livelihood. Even tobacco factories are not exempt from these beetles.
The scientific name of cigar beetles is Lasioderma serricorne. The one thing that they love to eat is â€“ you guessed it! â€“ tobacco leaves. Cigar beetles are very small and not easy to detect with the naked eye. They grow to about 2 to 3 millimeters long â€“ just about the size of a pinhead. If you are not careful with your cigar collection, you may not notice these beetles until your whole collection has been ruined!
How do they ruin cigars? The adult beetles have a lifespan of 2 to 4 weeks and do not pose that much of a threat to the tobacco leaves. The larvae, on the other hand, present a whole different story. These tiny things can consume a huge amount of tobacco â€“ you just might be surprised at how much! What the adults do is to chew through the paper wrapper of the cigar to create a warm environment for the larvae within the leaves. Then your cigars are doomed.
So how do you know if you have cigar beetle problems? How do you prevent these problems? Letâ€™s look at these in the next post.