Tick Submissions

We are encouraging citizens of Illinois to send the INHS Medical Entomology Lab *loose* ticks they occasionally find on themselves, their friends and family, and their pets (for attached ticks, see bottom of this page).

For downloads on ticks in Illinois and tick-bite prevention, see our resource page.

Instructions for submitting loose ticks to INHS Medical Entomology Lab

1. Drop tick in plastic bag with a *handful* of *fresh grass or leaves*. Securely seal and *add tape over top* (like duct or packing tape). The fresh plant material and tape keeps the ticks in good condition.

2. Fold a single sheet of paper around bag (to prevent crushing).

3. Put in regular envelope. Add single stamp.

4. Add paper with:

— your name and contact information (email/phone number)
— where (like an address or city) and when (like the date) you *found* the tick
— who the tick was on (like an adult/kid, dog/cat, female/male)
— where you think you actually picked it up (like, a park)
— whether you have traveled outside your county in the past 10 days
— Add any other information you want us to know – All information remains confidential You can send multiple ticks from the same person on the same day at the same site in the same bag.

5. Send via regular mail to: Dr. Holly Tuten, INHS Medical Entomology Lab, 1902 Griffith Drive, Champaign, IL 61820.

We will return a tick ID soon after receiving (we prefer via email which is the fastest way to return an ID) and properly archive the tick for future research. We will identify the tick species, life stage, and sex – and send that information to you (if you include contact information). Then we destroy the tick to use for research. We are studying the relatedness of tick populations around the state and their microbiomes.

For results by mail include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Thank you!


The INHS Medical Entomology Lab is not testing ticks for disease agents to return results to individuals right now and **we do not have the means to return ticks** if they are needed for disease agent testing later.

For attached ticks please consult your doctor and share this website with them: www.savethetick.com

For a free photo identification of attached ticks see: https://tickencounter.org/tickspotters/submit_form

For attached ticks on pets, please consult your vet and share this website with them: https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/180915w.aspx

Picture of adult female lone star tick
Adult female lone star tick

Ecology, epidemiology, and control of vector-borne diseases