How to Get a Tick Tested for Tick-Borne Diseases in Massachusetts

Author: Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Massachusetts

How to Get a Tick Tested for Tick-Borne Disease in Massachusetts?

Southeastern Massachusetts Tick Control Services Are Best Line of Defense, Even More So During Pandemic Furloughs

Ticks are just a part of living in the gorgeous Bay State. A worthwhile annoyance for the amazing landscape, people, and quality of life here. And while tick safety habits such as proper clothing, use of repellent, and tick checks are part of everyday life here, tick control measures have become even more relevant now than ever.

While we remind you almost every year about the process for having a tick tested through tickreport.com – and the subsequent benefits of that service, we have some unfortunate news. Due to the pandemic, the University of Massachusetts has suspended all TickReport services as lab staff are taking mandatory furloughs.

Important Notice - For the second time this year, our lab staff members are being compelled to take mandatory work furloughs alongside other staff across the university. Accordingly, the University of Massachusetts is suspending Tick Report service effective on 1-December -2020 @ midnight. At this time new order processing on our website will be suspended until further notice. Orders made prior to this shutdown and already in transit will be processed in a timely fashion as they arrive in the lap. Results of all completed TickReports and other resources will remain available on the website at tickreport.com. We are working to restore TeickReport to normal operation within a few weeks, and our home page will reflect any updates as they become available. We are committed to securing a long-term solution that will prevent the types of interruptions in operations we have experienced in 2020. - Dr. Stephen M. Rich - Professor of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts

What does less access to tick testing mean?

If you happen to find an embedded tick on you, your child, or your pet, you will have a more challenging time getting it tested. The test will, at a minimum, be much more expensive. TickReport charges $50, other tick testing facilities as listed on the State of Massachusetts website are anywhere from $65- $408.

Tick tests are incredibly helpful, especially if you should become ill after a tick was embedded in your skin. A tick test can help your physician treat any potential tick-borne disease in a timely and likely more effective fashion.

Tick Testing Results

Also, the public has been using tickreport.com for years to gauge the current risk of tick-borne disease in their area. The data is vital for catching trends and knowing your risks when venturing outdoors unprotected. Just last May, the percent of deer ticks carrying the Lyme Disease bacteria was up to 50%!

In May of 2017, we reported that 28.5% of ticks tested from Plymouth County were positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Right now, that data is inaccessible and will at the very least include a partial gap this year, and at worst, it will have a HUGE gap.

While we know that it is more expensive to use one of the other tick testing services, and it may not benefit from informing the public, we still urge you to get a tick tested if it was embedded in your skin.

Important Tick Precautions

Remember to be extra cautious this year when it comes to your tick safety routines. Everyone has enough to deal with during the pandemic without the extra challenges that could come from a dangerous tick-borne disease. Make sure to:

  • Dress for outdoor activities by covering skin and tucking your pants in your socks.
  • Consider adding Permethrin to your clothing to repel ticks.
  • Use an EPA recommended bug spray on exposed skin.
  • Check for ticks after spending time outdoors. Every time!
  • Have your yard treated by a professional tick control company.

At Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Massachusetts, we offer tick control services that will not only eliminate today’s adult ticks but will also prevent their offspring from ever developing into adults. Call today to get a free quote for our backyard tick control treatment.