My tobacco plants are all in bloom. For the size of the plant, most are over 4' tall, the flowers are small and rather unremarkable. I left the photo below large, so it might be worth a click.
While I was tending my mom, the plants collected some little, black bugs. It's a small population, but they are clearly feeding on the tobacco, getting a nicotine high at the same time, I'm sure. I'm exhausted from the emotional ordeal of losing my mom and being visited by the sheriff, so I haven't bothered to identify the critters. Aphids, perhaps, but who knows and right now who cares.
Yesterday, I stopped at a garden center and bought two helpings of ladybugs. The instructions tell you to release them at dusk so they spend the night on your infested plants and don't just fly off. Whatever. I've always followed those directions in the past, but this time I dumped them out on the tobacco patch around noon. They immediately got active, crawling around and making short flights. I figured they'd slaughter the invaders as they normally do before taking a powder. Up to now, I've had terrific results every time I'd brought in the ladybug cavalry.
Not this time. Sure enough, by the end of the day, there weren't more than 10 ladybugs in the patch. Everyone else had flown away. Greener pastures, I suppose.
Oh well. It's too cold for the infestors to reproduce rapidly, so I think the tobacco are safe.