• Send your tick in the mail and UMass Amherst will test it

    By: Robert Goulston

    Updated:

    State officials say tens of thousands will likely get tick borne diseases this year. Now, a state university is offering tick testing for $15 so you can get information within three days.

    The Laboratory of Medical Zoology at UMass Amherst is offering tick testing, and they're being sent by the hundreds. 

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    "Yeah, they'll start crawling around. They can survive for weeks without anything. We get a lot of live ones," said lab technician Tim Daly. "People mail us ticks from all around the country, especially here in Massachusetts."

    The program has been in place since 2005 and used to cost $140 to get a tick tested, but now there is a federal grant that makes it $15 per tick.

    "We use the DNA to detect the pathogens that makes us sick inside the tick," said Director Dr. Stephen Rich. 

    The state estimates about 87,000 people a year test positive for Lyme Disease in Massachusetts.

    MORE: 10 ways to prevent tick bites on people and pets

    "Half the adult deer ticks around here are infected with Lyme," said Daly. 

    The UMass tick report program is sharing the information with health officials to help track trends. People who were bitten and send the ticks also get the information directly. 

    "We can get you the results in 24 to 72 hours about the risk of that tick bite," said Rich.

    MORE: Ticks now spreading to urban areas, expert warns

    Rich says the tick that bit him while he was walking his dog came back positive with disease, including Lyme. With this information, his doctor ordered specific tests and was able to give him the all clear.

    "I think the most crucial part is we have a 3 day turnaround time. So by the time you booked your doctor appointment, you may have your results," said Rich. 

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

    NOTE: The prices on the website list packages of $50/$100/$200. Once you start your order and add your address, the price will drop to $15.

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