Policy on Tick Testing

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WWHD continues to identify ticks for residents at a fee of $10. There is no additional fee for sending engorged ticks to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) for testing (Tick ID Form.) However, we no longer submit unengorged ticks to CAES. Please note, CAES will only test ticks found on people, not pets.

In the past, thousands of the deer ticks submitted for testing were “flat” or unengorged. Research has shown that infected nymphs or adults do not transmit the Lyme disease agent until blood is engorged. The probability of pathogen transmission increases with time as more blood is ingested by the tick from the host. Obviously, this is why tick checks and early removal are so important to the avoidance of tick-borne illness. Find out more at the CAES website, www.ct.gov/caes.

Tick testing is a costly and time-consuming process. This policy greatly reduces laboratory costs, and more importantly, improves the reporting of results on the blood-fed ticks that are more likely to have transmitted the Lyme disease pathogen if infected.

There is an alternative for tick testing. The CT Veterinary Diagnostic Lab will examine ticks for the presence of the pathogen that causes Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis or Babesiosis. The fees for testing are $50 for one test, $80 for two, and $100 for all three. Ticks may be brought in or sent (wrap tick in moist paper towel and seal in zip-lock bag) to:

Connecticut Veterinary Diagnostic Lab
University of Connecticut
61 North Eagleville Rd.
Storrs, CT 06269-3203

Enclose a check for the amount due, payable to the CT. Veterinary Diagnostic Lab with your mailing. Visit their website to download a tick submission form at www.cvmdl.uconn.edu.

To contact the lab by phone, call 860-486-3738. Results will be received in 3-5 days.