Tick Testing

We’re well into tick season, and having gone through the exercise of dealing with ticks on friends and family, I have suggestions about dealing with this.  And one thing is clear, being prepared in advance is easiest.


It is very important to send the tick for testing.


Some labs state that testing is 98% accurate, which is so much more accurate than human testing, that not getting a tick tested seems a huge waste.  There are a number of labs you can use, and I’ve made a list of several well-respected labs, their prices and what they test for, as of today.   It is good to decide in advance which lab you want to use, so you don’t find yourself having to do research at a time you might not be at your best, most relaxed.


Have a DIY Tick Kit Handy at all times.  To make it up you need:


  • An envelope addressed and stamped to the lab of your choice
  • A completed requisition form for the lab you choose
  • A small baggy
  • A small piece of paper towel to be moistened
  • A fine nosed tweezers (only a fine nose tweezers can be counted on for the smallest ticks.)


Making the choice:  differences between the labs:  What do they look for?


  • All the labs test for Lyme, (borrelia). But only some test for Borrelia miyamotoi, which is increasingly found in US ticks and causes a Lyme illness marked by fevers.
    • Labs which test for it: Igenex, UMass, and UConn, Clongen
  • Bartonella is another common co-infection, and is very hard to detect in humans, because it hides out deep in tissues.
    • Labs which look for Bartonella: Igenex, Pharmasan Tic-Kit, UMass

Cost:  What is the cost/benefit of these labs?


  • If cost is not an issue, Igenex, UMass and Clongen do the most comprehensive testing, with prices from $250 – $300 for the four major offenders: Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia/Anaplasma, Borrelia
  • If cost is an issue, the Tic-Kit is a very good buy. For $50 or so, you can get your tick tested for 4 organisms.   However, you lose the chance of finding Bartonella, which is quite common, makes us very ill with neurological symptoms, and is hard to diagnose in humans.
  • Bay Area Lyme does free testing, but does not test for Bartonella
  • Think about this; make your choice NOW, prepare your DIY Tick Kit, and keep it handy.


You or a loved one is bitten, what should you do now?


Put the tick in the baggy, with a slightly moist small piece of paper towel.  If you must delay mailing it, refrigerate the baggy.  Send even the most mushed up or tiny ticks.  Use your DIY Tick Kit and you have done the best you can to protect yourself after the bite, and before consulting your physician.

If there are multiple ticks; put them ALL in the baggy.  Do NOT mix ticks from two people in the same baggy.

Tick Testing Labs


Lab and Contact Info Organisms tested            Prices, forms, notes
795 San Antonio Rd

Palo Alto, Ca 94303

(800) 832-3200

Borrelia, including Miyamotoi

Babesia microti & duncani

Ehrlichiosis, Bartonella h.


$272, for the 4 major co-infections
excluding Rickettsia
UMass Lab of Medical Zoology

tick (413) 545-1057

Lyme, including miyamotoi, mayoni,
Babesia microti, Ehrlichia m., Anaplasma
Bartonella only if you pay $299
Lone Star ticks: STARI, ehrlichia mono
$50 for all that pertain to the type of includes Bartonella only if you buy the package:
$299 for all, regardless of tick type,
includes Bartonella


Borrelia, NOT miyamotoi

Babesia microti, duncani, divergens

Bartonella henselae and Quintana


Must buy from a distributor. Find one at https://www.tic-kit.com comparatively inexpensive, about
$50 for 4 organisms
Conn Vet Medical Diagnosis

(860) 486-3758

Borrelia, including miyamotoi Ehrlichia

Babesis microti

NOT Bartonella

Requisition:  http://bitly.com/1OJ2cDE

$50 for one, $80 for 2, $100 for 3

211 Perry Pkwy, Ste 6
MD 20877
Borrelia, most Sp, Bartonella Sp.
Babesia microti, duncani
Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Rickettsia
Requisition:  http://bit.ly/2aAE77z
$75 for one test; $65/test for more
$260 for the 4 major offenders


FREE TESTING: The Bay Area Lyme Foundation is studying the prevalence of co-infections and borrelia in ticks around the country. You can send them a tick for free testing!
Their turn-around time is similar to other labs, approximately a week.

Lab and Contact Info Organisms tested            Prices, forms, notes
Bay Area Lyme Borrelia inc miyamotoi,
Babesia microtic
NOT Bartonella!