Find a tick? Mail it to UMass lab for testing

NEWTON, Mass. — Everyone knows about ticks, but not everyone understands the best ways to protect themselves.

Now, the Lab of Medical Zoology at UMass Amherst is moving its tick report program east.

"We can get you the results within 24-48 hours about the risk of that tick bite," said Stephen Rich.

Boston 25 News spoke to Rich last May to learn about the program started in 2005.

"It's grown every year since then with more people sending ticks and bringing ticks in, so we thought it'd be a good thing to bring more local into the Boston area."

TickReport allows people to send or bring ticks they find on themselves to get tested.

"People mail us ticks from all around the country, especially Massachusetts."

They screen for a variety of tickborne illness, like Lyme disease, to let you know the risk.

"Not all ticks are a risk depending on how long it's fed what species and whether it's infected it may or may not pose a risk of infection toward people."

Ticks appear in spring and they are a big problem in many towns, including Hopkinton.

"Three of top five illnesses in Hopkinton are tick related."

Shaun Mcauliffe tells people to use repellent because it works.

"Ticks smell through their feet and their legs. If they sense that repellent on your clothing, on your skin, they're going to jump off," he said.

To learn more about how to send UMass Amherst a tick to be tested, click here.