For clinical information about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, please contact your health care provider or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tick Testing Labs
People who have removed a tick often wonder if they should have it tested. As stated on the Centers for Disease Control Lyme website:
In general, testing of individual ticks is not useful because:
- If the test shows that the tick contained disease-causing organisms, that does not necessarily mean that you have been infected.
- If you have been infected, you will probably develop symptoms before results of the tick test are available. You should not wait for tick testing results before beginning appropriate treatment.
- Negative results can lead to false assurance. For example, you may have been unknowingly bitten by a different tick that was infected.
It is a good idea to save a tick that you have removed and have it identified (and tested, if you wish). Learn how to remove the tick and how to save the tick. Avoid taping the tick, as it will be difficult for the lab person to separate the tick from the tape.
For free tick identification (but not pathogen testing), you may send tick to:
- UMaine Cooperative Extension: Insect Pests, Ticks and Plant Diseases
491 College Avenue, Orono, Maine 04473-1295
207-581-3880, 800-287-0279 (in Maine) or 800-287-8957 (TDD)
Here is a list of labs that test ticks:
- Laboratory of Medical Zoology
Fernald Hall, University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
Imugen, Inc., Attn: Tick Testing
315 Norwood Park South, Norwood, MA 02062
800-246-8436 • 781-255-0770
61 North Eagleville Rd., U-3089, Storrs, CT 06269-3089