One threat to the condition of cigars stands above all others in its severity – the Lasioderma Serricorne, or the Tobacco Weevil. Weevils eat tobacco and can tunnel through the filler leaves, perforate the wrappers, and render cigars unsmokeable.
Since 2005 Habanos SA has frozen all of their cigars in Havana before exporting them. This process destroys the weevils and they are now an extremely rare problem. However it can still cause a lot of damage unless treated correctly.
Below are some guidelines on how to minimise the risk and also what to do if confronted with an infestation:
- Keep the humidor at the correct level of relative humidity (65-70%) and temperature (16-18°C).
- Ensure that the humidor only holds cigars purchased from official importers. Do not store customers’ cigars unless they were purchased on site.
- Inspect cigars regularly for signs of weevil. The signs are holes in the wrappers, a fine dust on the hinge or in the bottom of the box and the weevils themselves.
- If suspicious isolate any box of cigars that may be infected from the main stock. • Place all infected cigars into zip-lock bags and put them into the freezer for 3-4 days.
- Next transfer the cigars to a fridge for 2-3 days before bringing them out and returning them to room temperature.
- Discard any cigars that show weevil damage and place all the undamaged stock back on sale