Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tick Tick Tick

So, Tuesday, while Ian was at soccer practice, I noticed a teeny tiny tick on his neck...deer tick.  The black-legged tick.  Removing it was neither laborious, nor upsetting, thank goodness.  The little critter was out...Marie Antoinette it was not. However, the entire episode started me thinking about what other individuals from the Insecta Class we would encounter on our travels.  Being reared in New England, we are quite accustomed to ants, mosquitos, wasps, hornets, spiders, etc...which, in their own ways are more nuisance than frightful.

Ixodes scapularis

Apparently, ticks will be residents in many of the states to which we travel.

Minnesota; Iowa; Missouri; Oklahoma; Arkansas; Texas; Kansas; Wisconsin; Illinois; Tennessee; Mississippi; Louisiana; Alabama; Kentucky; Indiana; Michigan; Ohio; West Virginia; North Carolina; South Carolina; Georgia; Florida; Virginia; Maryland; Delaware; Pennsylvania; New Jersey; New York; Connecticut; Massachusetts; Rhode Island; New Hampshire; Vermont; Maine

Whether it is a deer tick or dog tick, as they are commonly called, the recommended method used to remove it is fairly universal:

The best way to remove a tick is to pull it off gently, leaving the tick and its mouth parts intact. This can be difficult because some ticks cement their mouth parts into the skin. Every effort should be made to remove this cement if it does not come out with the tick. Applying heat, alcohol, petroleum jelly or fingernail polish to an embedded tick is not effective. The following is the recommended procedure:

  • Use blunt curved tweezers or a thread
  • Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible and pull upward with a steady, even pressure.
  • Do not twist or jerk the tick because this may cause the mouth parts to detach and remain in the skin.
  • You should pull firmly enough to lift up the skin.
  • Hold this tension for 3 to 4 minutes and the tick will back out.
  • DO NOT squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick because its fluids may contain bacteria.
  • Immediately dispose of the tick. If you have any concerns, put the tick in a plastic bag and freeze it. If you get sick you can take the dead tick with you when you see your provider.
  • Immediately wash your hands and the affected area with soap and water.

If you do not want to use tweezers, there are several products on the market created by those go-getters of the product world.  Here are a few,  all for around $5.00.   Note: I have never tried these products; I am a tweezer-gal.

cause id like to see you out in the moonlight 
id like to kiss you way back in the sticks 
id like to walk you through a field of wildflowers 
and id like to check you for ticks 


This site:  www.insectidentification.org/ has a great dichotomous key to help identify insects, or perhaps, arachnids, as the case may be.  (See left side menu).

And here is a great game for the family!  



  1. That was very interesting. Didn't know anything about ticks except that dad trying to burn them off with a match. Remember??

  2. Yes I do...I came back from Girl Scout camp, I think. It's probably still living in my head.

  3. aaaahh....very interesting....info may have helped Rob as well since he's headed to the clinic today to be tested for Lyme's.....already on the script for it just in case.....don't think he can avoid a lot of that working in the bird world and living on the Vineyard for the summer...ugggh. Keep doing those tick checks Jo!!!


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