My Experience With Tick Bites & Getting Them Analyzed Quickly
I have a large perennial garden filled with daylilies. For the first few years, they were beautiful. In the last few years, I’ve started to notice that I wasn’t getting many flowers. My hard work had become a feeding ground for deer that love daylilies!
The unfortunate part of having a garden that attracts deer are the ticks that may also end up in your garden. In the last few years, I’ve discovered a few ticks on my skin after gardening. I started taking more proactive precautions to prevent them by regularly using insect repellent to stop tick bites. After gardening, I immediately toss my clothes into the washer, inspect my skin for ticks, and take a shower.
Last month, I found a small black dot on my right arm. After closer inspection, I was shocked to find a tick attached to my upper arm! I tried not to panic that I was going to get Lyme disease; however, I was concerned.
So, I carefully removed the tick and saved it in a small sealed plastic bag. I sent the tick to the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania and a few days later I got an email that it was a black-legged or deer tick in the nymph stage. I was happy to learn it tested negative for Lyme disease and was impressed with their speedy response.
Here’s what I want you to know… the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania will test the tick for a variety of pathogens. It’s so easy to use their site. When you sign into the site you can get a free analysis of the tick to detect for Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Deer tick virus. You can also elect to pay for a more advanced panel to look for other tick-related diseases.
The Tick Research Lab recommends that the best way to avoid tick-borne disease is to take the following precautions:
- Treat clothes and shoes with permethrin
- Wear light-colored clothing and use insect repellent with 20% DEET
- Put your clothing in the dryer on high heat immediately after coming indoors
- Perform tick checks within 2 hours of coming indoors
- Avoid grassy tick habitats
If you do find a tick, follow my easy tips to analyze it online at the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania at https://www.ticklab.org. We are very fortunate to have this resource in PA. Let me know if you have any questions.