Hi guys, I'm new here. Need advice. Bug problem.


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Hi guys, i recently joined the forum and have been really enjoying reading over some threads.

I received a box today of SC El Principe from EMA ABR 08, from a trusted vendor. Usually everything is in perfect condition.

When i opened the box i found little tiny white or transparent bugs on a few of the cigars. Really really tiny. 

I'm not sure what cigar beetles look like, as i've never experienced any (Thankfully), but there were no holes in any of the wrappers of the cigars, Just these tiny little insects. Maybe 7 or 8 all up. 

There was a bit of white marks here and there. It seemed as if the box was over humidified, and maybe had mold, and the vendor wiped it down before he shipped it to me, I'm not sure.

I'm not sure what to do. 2 of the cigars also have a dry white spot on the cap, I've never had that either.  The piece of cedar also had white water marks on it. And the bottom of the box also had what looked like water marks or something.

So my question is, what do i do with it. I have a coolidor that is full of other cigar boxes. I'm scared to put this box in with the rest. 

Any advice will be really appreciated, as I am an amateur haha. Thanks guys. 

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If any look like this, I will take them!!! -LOL

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... all levity aside, there are plenty of bug experts on the forum that will arrive soon to provide good advice. From your description, they are likely mites.

Sit tight, the cavalry will arrive! -Piggy

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Haha thanks guys. I've taken all the cigars out and brushed them off all one by one. And i cleaned the box out too.

I put the cigars back in the box. Put the box in a zip lock bag with a boveda pack, and put it in the fridge for now. Should i put it straight in the freezer?

I'm gonna keep researching. Going through a couple of old threads. I think they might just be mites, well at least i hope.

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@Cmelle It might make sense to change the Forum Topic to draw the eyes of folks toward the core questions which is the bug problem. Perhaps the topic would say something like this, "New guy, need advice bugs." and the folks would come crawling out of the woodwork, literally! :-)

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Just now, Cmelle said:

@Ethernut Haha yeah that would've been better. I'm slowly learning :D

No worries! You can change it by editing your original post, it will open up the field for that.:thumbsup:

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Those small cream-colored blobs on the heads of the top two cigars look like natural wrapper imperfections I've seen on many cigars. In fact, I can specifically recall it on El Principe before.

And judging by the marks on the bottom of the box and the cedar divider it definitely appears that these cigars have been over-humidified at some point.

If you're worried about the bugs, freeze 'em for 3 days, refrigerate for a week, then back into the humi for 30 days.

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Where in Aus are you ...I am an hour south of Perth ....it is six degrees this morning ...If you are somewhere similar and it is cold and not raining .....take the box outside and the little suckers wont like the cold one bit and fly away...For piece of mind ....you can freeze them ,,if those little mother funkers have laid eggs they will be back ....

Or you can just leave them ...they shit  all over cigars and add a tonne of flavour ...depends how big your innovatory is ...you may get the odd tobacco beetle comment  for sure ..they are wood mites all day long ...all options above will work :D 

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- Clean the box out and let it air out 

- brush your cigars gently

- put everything back together in a ziploc with a boveda pack to stay safe. (quarantine status)

 

Inspect in a week or two.. If all clear then you should be fine.. I wouldn't freeze anything... You guys go freeze happy around here :D

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- Clean the box out and let it air out 

- brush your cigars gently

- put everything back together in a ziploc with a boveda pack to stay safe. (quarantine status)

 

Inspect in a week or two.. If all clear then you should be fine.. I wouldn't freeze anything... You guys go freeze happy around here 



Totally. No need to freeze for wood mites. They're harmless.
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7 hours ago, Cmelle said:

There was a bit of white marks here and there. It seemed as if the box was over humidified, and maybe had mold, and the vendor wiped it down before he shipped it to me, I'm not sure.

A general remark here, my 2cts on the particular box - the mite issue has been answered exhaustively, I guess.

I agree with you, the cigars you show make an impression of having been wiped down prior to shipment. The book lice and the condensation marks on paper and cedar sheet aren't actually indicative of the best storage conditions. Such water traces you sometimes find in older boxes without being a too serious issue, but lice and mould is a bit too much. The box has certainly not been pretty well cared for. I won't ask you for your particular source, but trusted vendor - may be. Reputable - certainly not. The two spots on the head seem to be indicative of a discolouration due to a mould having done its work there for months or even years (I am not talking of the white, harmless one), before having been wiped off. A roller really wouldn't cut out a piece of wrapper for the cap with a water or sun mark on it (at least not that conspicuous), as there is plenty of room in the wrapper scraps for choosing a tiny flawless bit. And finally check critically - how do those cigars smell? - fresh (yes, even as they are 8 years old!), lively and like "tobacco", or a bit damp, musty, mouldy and rather dead? This would be my final dealbreaker. Without having seen the remaining sticks, I'd reckon 'shelf warmer' here.

Current El Principe-production is really good, and there is no advantage I can see in adding such a subpar "aged" stock to your collection. If I were you, I'd not long fiddle around with it and return it promptly. Instead get a fresh, flawless box from Rob or another reputable source. Tell your supplier about your observations and your concern and see what he comes up with. I wouldn't accept as is.

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Yep, and to add here, although the lice are usually no direct threat to the cigars, a stronger infestation can be indicative of a storage problem, as they not only love moisture (capillary water) but apart from paper/cellulose and starch some species feed on fungus mycelium...

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I had some wood mites in my tupperdor last November. I opened it to take out a cigar, and noticed small white moving specks, strolling up and down my sticks. The source was my b&m, because he gave me some cedar inserts and those were infested with wood mites. He keeps his walk in humidor between 70-72% rh, and when I went back there, I did notice wood mites on cigars in his open boxes.

Wood mites thrive in high humidity. I removed my cigars, washed the tupperdor, dried it under the sun, wiped down my cigars, and put them back in. I replaced my 69% boveda with 65%, and within 5 to 6 weeks, the bugs disappeared. I also removed the bands because I read somewhere that they feed on glue and paper.

You can surmise that your box has been stored above 70% rh for long periods. Mites are harmless, but check for mold damage.

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Thanks guys. I love this forum. Everyone's willing to help right away.

I'll take everything into account. I've cleaned the box out and wiped the cigars. I threw the cedar sheet out coz i just didn't like the look of it at all. I checked the box today and didn't see any mites. I put it in the freezer this morning coz i don't wanna take any chances. 

@Fugu i agree with you. I definitely think i should return them, but I've already paid the customs tax and it's too much headache to send it back. But I'll definitely let the vendor now. 

The cigars did still look ok and actually smell pretty good. But i think they were definitely over humidified. They even feel a bit damp. 

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On 13/09/2016 at 11:24 AM, Fugu said:

Current El Principe-production is really good, and there is no advantage I can see in adding such a subpar "aged" stock to your collection. If I were you, I'd not long fiddle around with it and return it promptly. Instead get a fresh, flawless box from Rob or another reputable source. Tell your supplier about your observations and your concern and see what he comes up with. I wouldn't accept as is.

Some good advice in this thread and I have nothing to add in regards to bugs. However, in regards to @Fugu's advice on current production San Cristobal de La Habana El Principe, I couldn't agree more. I have certainly enjoyed some recent EML 2015 varieties...very consistent (production-wise) and very good. 

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13 hours ago, JohnS said:

Some good advice in this thread and I have nothing to add in regards to bugs. However, in regards to @Fugu's advice on current production San Cristobal de La Habana El Principe, I couldn't agree more. I have certainly enjoyed some recent EML 2015 varieties...very consistent (production-wise) and very good. 

Beyond very good. Those EML boxes are fantastic. So much chocolate and molasses, you never want the cigar to end!

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