Why Save Your Tick?

You may wish to save the tick for identification or testing.  Identification and testing of ticks cannot determine if transmission of a disease has or has not occurred, however knowing which species of tick you have been bitten by, what pathogens they may be carrying, and in which region of the country you were exposed may aid in your discussions with your medical care provider regarding diagnosis and treatment considerations. Remember NO testing is 100% reliable! Negative results do not necessarily mean no disease transmission.  Ticks may carry pathogens for which tests are not yet commercially available.

  • Save the tick in a plastic zip lock bag or other small airtight container noting the location and date of the tick bite in case testing of the tick is desired. Contact the individual testing centers for preservation and shipping instructions.  Do not place in scotch tape!

Tick Identification and Testing Centers

TICKNOLOGY is a Colorado based company offering reliable and affordable tick testing for 8 diseases including, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi, Borrelia mayonii, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis & Tularemia. Low fee tick testing is made possible through the commercial sales of their innovative products and tick removal kits.  COTBDAA is the 2017 Ticknology sponsorship recipient! Donate to COTBDAA through TICKNOLOGY when you order your test

IGeneX, Inc. Laboratory offers PCR-based tick testing for a fee. They can determine if the tick that bit a patient was positive for: Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme Disease), Relapsing Fever Borrelia (including B. miyamotoi), Babesia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Bartonella, and Rickettsia.

US Army Public Health Center – A free tick identification and testing service for all Department of Defense health care facilities, provided by the APHC. For additional information or to request services, contact the Tick-borne Disease Lab: by phone (410) 436-5421 or by email usarmy.apg.medcom-aphc.mbx.tickcom@mail.mil.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is accepting tick submissions from Colorado veterinarians. Only tick species identification is being done. No tick testing. 

TickEncounter is a great resource for tick identification. You may also participate in their TickSpotters Citizen Science Project by submitting a photo and information about your tick to help them track tick activity annually. They offer both tick identification services and testing through their partnership with UMass Laboratory of Medical Zoology, TickReport which offers tick testing for 19 diseases for a fee. Results are available within 3 business days.

TickCheck Laboratory offers PCR-based tick testing for a fee. Testing can detect the presence of seven diseases – Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Bay Area Lyme Foundation is currently offering FREE tick testing to all US residents through Northern Arizona University as part of a Citizen Science study. Participation not only provides the submitter information about their tick but, also contributes to a Citizen Science Study regarding distribution and prevalence of ticks and pathogens nationwide. Results are made available to the submitter once testing is completed. The tick need not to have been embedded in order to participate. They test for 6 of the top diseases including: Lyme disease, Borrelia miyamotoi, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Due to the overwhelming response received by the lab, this program has been discontinued until February 2018 to give the lab time to catch up with the current submissions.