I never dreamed that being in the business of bugs would place me in a position to respond to so many questions relating to insects. Our location alone puts us in a prime demographic to try to help homeowners who have found ticks on themselves, on their children and on their pets. Recently, we received an email from a professional associate in regards to a tick she found on her head while getting ready for work in the morning.
Thankfully, Massachusetts has a tick testing center through the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture that enables you to send any tick in for testing. The main concern on the minds of a Mass. resident who finds a tick is the threat of acquiring Lyme Disease from the tick. Deer ticks are the sole carriers of Lyme Disease, and are also known to carry other tick-borne diseases like Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis. This year the UMass extension tick assessment center is testing ticks for all three of these dangerous illnesses. So they will identify the tick you submit as well as test the tick for Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis. Find out how to submit your tick by visiting here http://extension.umass.edu/agriculture/index.php/services/tick-borne-disease-diagnostics
In order to properly submit the tick for analysis you first want to make sure the tick has been removed properly. This is achieved through a quick upwards grasp, careful not to agitate the tick or leave the head attached if the tick has become imbedded. Then place the tick in a moistened paper towel in a sealed container or ziplock bag. Mosquito Squad has paired with the CDC for easy to follow instructions on how to safely and properly remove a tick that is “latched on” to you, your loved one or your pet.
Ultimately, our goal here in Massachusetts is to avoid coming into contact with a tick in the first place. Our highly effective tick control programs are designed to keep your family, and your pets safe from ticks and tick-borne disease and illness. If you do find yourself in the position of being fearful of whether a tick you received by venturing into an untreated area may or may not be infectious, it is a blessing to have this tick testing available to all residents. The testing gives Mass. residents peace of mind in an uncertain circumstance such as having to remove a tick from yourself, your child or your pet.