I know there are some of you who will not like this picture in the least. It is the head of the dreaded deer tick (Ixodes scapularis, the only known vector of Lyme disease. Cathy found this one in the back of her neck this morning and asked me to get it off. The tick came out cleanly but you can see here why they can be a little tough to get out. The proboscis (the tubular, sucking mouth) is not a smooth straw-like structure, but is quite well designed to stay in the skin when pulled upon. It had only been in her neck since yesterday, so there was no real chance of her getting Lyme from this one. Anyway, I put it under the microscope and took a look. Nasty.