How to Submit a Tick for Testing

Who may submit ticks? 

Generally, ticks will be accepted only from Bethel residents; however, if you are a non-resident but are located in Bethel temporarily for work, volunteerism, visit, etc., Bethel Health Department will accept the tick.  

Do all ticks that are submitted get tested for Lyme disease? We accept all ticks for identification but test only those Ixodes scapularis ticks that have ingested human blood. We examine all ticks for degree of engorgement. Laboratory personnel test engorged black-legged ("deer") ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and, upon special request, certain other species of ticks for the presence of spirochetes that cause Lyme disease. We do not test the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), larval ticks of all species, or un-engorged ticks.

What diseases are the ticks tested for? The ticks are tested for three diseases: Lyme, Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis.

How are results communicated and how long does it take to receive a report?  CT Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) Lab results are communicated by email directly to the resident. If there is no email, please indicate a phone number to be used. Please wait for written communication of results. Phone inquiries cause delays in the analyses of ticks. Reporting time depends largely on volume of ticks received. Priority will be given to processing and reporting findings on engorged Ixodes scapularis ticks.

What information should be included with the tick? The following information should accompany the tick: Name, address, telephone number and email address (for receipt of CAES results) of the person submitting the tick; name, age, and sex of person bitten; date tick was removed; part of body where tick was found; town in which tick was acquired.

Instructions for Residents:

1. Fill out the CAES Tick Submission Form. If sending request for a child, make sure child’s name, DOB and parents name are included. A separate form should be filled out for each person bitten.

2. Ticks should be bagged separately for 2 or more ticks per person. Label each bag with person’s name, the site of the tick bite and date tick was removed from body. Ticks for each person should be bagged and labeled separately. Place tick in a zip lock sandwich bag.

3. Bring form and tick to the Bethel Health Dept.

4. BHD suggests that you contact your medical doctor to discuss any follow up recommendations.

5. Mark your calendar with the date and site of tick bite as a reference point. You may want to take a photo of the site. Contact your doctor if you are not feeling well.

6. The tick analysis report will be emailed directly to the resident. A copy of the  report is available at BHD for $ 0.50


 Additional Resources:

Epidemiology and Emerging Infections Tick-borne Diseases