Tick Submission Form (207) 662-7142
How do I submit ticks?
Remove ticks by grasping them with fine tweezers as near to the skin as possible and pull gently but firmly. The barbed mouth parts may not let go easily, so be patient. It may take several minutes or more. Do not handle ticks with your bare hands.
Ticks should be sealed in a small, crushproof vial of 70% alcohol, the vial padded with absorbent paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag, and mailed to us along with a completed submission form:
Vector-borne Disease Laboratory
Maine Medical Center Research Institute
75 John Roberts Rd., Suite 9B
South Portland, ME 04106
We will mail a report of the tick's identification to you as soon as possible, usually within five days. We may also send you a map to identify the site where you think the tick was acquired.
As part of a program to establish the distribution of the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis (dammini), the vector for the Lyme disease bacteria and other pathogens, the MMCRI Vector-borne Disease Laboratory offers free identification of ticks. Use the above submission form. Ticks will NOT be tested to see if they contain the Lyme Disease spirochete because the clinical value of this information is uncertain. You will be notified of the tick identification as soon as possible. We regret that staff limitations do not allow us to identify ticks submitted from outside the State of Maine. In addition, if it appears from the description in Ticks in Maine that your tick is a dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), we would appreciate that it not be submitted for identification. These ticks are present in overwhelming numbers, particularly in early summer, and are not effective vectors of the Lyme disease bacterium.
Why is this important?
It is important for your physician (or your pet's veterinarian) to know what species of tick has bitten you (or your pet). It is also important for us to know the location of the tick for inclusion in our continually updated distribution map.