What should you do with a tick that has been removed?

You can reduce your chances of infection by searching for, and removing, attached ticks.

We suggest that you save the tick and submit it to us for proper species identification in order to learn more about it and any associated risk of infection. Gaining detailed insight about the tick can and will be useful to you and your doctor. It is important to know and determine these parameters:

  • the kind (species) of tick you’ve removed. Why? For instance, if it is a dog tick, you will not need to be concerned about the possible transmission of Lyme disease. Only certain species of ticks carry and/or transmist specific disease pathogens. Learning what species tick bit you and what the risks are for it to be transmitting disease to you, will be important facts for you and your doctor when considering potential treatment.
  • age (stage of development) of the tick. Risk from deer ticks is greatest in their nymphal and adult stages; larvae are of virtually no concern. IdentifyUS can often determine the stage of development of a tick from images you send us and can guide and advise you based on these observations.
  • duration of attachment (how long it has been feeding). Because the likelihood of pathogen transmission rises with time, this is a critical consideration. IdentifyUS usually can estimate how long a tick has fed based on direct observation and review of the specimen in question, or even by good images of the tick itself.

An IdentifyUS entomologist will examine the actual specimen as well as digital images of your tick and will provide you with rapid answers and valuable insight based on the above criteria. In particular, we will identify the kind and stage of development of the tick, and we will estimate (based upon the extent of engorgement) the duration of attachment and feeding. This information may be of significance to you and to your physician. So, save the tick and have it identified. Access our Specimen Evaluation Form here.

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