Frequently Asked Questions
What testing options are available and how much do they cost?
Please see the “What testing do we offer” section here for more details.
How do I submit a tick for testing?
Please follow the submission instructions here for more details.
What kind of ticks can be tested?
We have the capacity to test any type of tick. However, it should be noted that different types of ticks have been shown to be associated with different pathogens. When you submit a tick to Geneticks, we first identify the species of tick, and tailor the testing appropriately for the pathogens most commonly associated with that tick.
When travelling outside of North America you may be exposed to ticks that carry pathogens that we currently do not test for – if this occurs please contact us to see if we can help identify your tick and offer any appropriate testing for that specific tick species.
Can you test partial ticks?
Yes. When ticks carry pathogens, they are generally present in large quantities inside the tick. Our testing allows us to detect very small amounts of these pathogens in a sample. As long as we receive a portion of the body or head of the tick, detection should not be significantly impacted.
Can you test ticks that are dead / dried out / crushed / stored in ethanol?
Yes. We can test ticks that arrive at our laboratory in almost any condition. The technique we use to detect pathogens in ticks relies on detecting very small amounts of microbial DNA uniquely associated with different pathogens. This DNA remains detectable inside ticks after they have died, dried out or been crushed. Ethanol is often used to preserve tick samples for testing, and does not impact our ability to detect pathogens inside them.
Is there a limit for how long I can wait before testing a tick?
Though there is no determined length of time that a sample will remain viable for testing, we recommend submitting samples for testing sooner rather than later. Samples that have been stored for longer than 6 months will be checked to ensure the DNA is still of sufficient quality for accurate testing. If the sample is not viable we will offer a full refund for your testing fees. To increase the likelihood of your tick being usable, we recommend storage in the freezer in an airtight plastic bag or container.
Can I have my tick tested again later?
Yes. DNA extracted from submitted ticks is stored on site for up to two years. This DNA can be used to retest or perform further testing on a sample at any time during this period. In addition, when possible, a portion of the submitted tick body is preserved and sent away for long term storage. These samples are stored for up to four years, and can be accessed for additional testing as required.
Can I send ticks to be tested exclusively for research purposes?
Yes. We are happy to receive ticks exclusively for research purposes. We cannot guarantee that these ticks will be tested within any useable time frame, or that you will have the results returned to you.
What information will you collect and use for research purposes?
The information collected will be used for research purposes only. Only information about the tick (ex: where it was found, the type of tick, which pathogens are present) will be used. Any personal or identifiable information is removed prior to analysis, so that the tick and its information cannot be traced back to any individual. Your personal information will not be shared with any third parties.
How do you return results?
Tick testing results are returned by email to the address you provide at the time of submission. If you require your results to be returned in a different manner, please contact us to let us know.
Can I send a tick by courier?
Yes. However, when possible, we prefer submission to our P.O. box. This provides a quick, streamlined delivery of submissions and ensures that ticks do not get lost when they arrive at one of our larger facilities.
If you prefer to send your tick by courier, please contact us, and we can provide a non-P.O. box address to send the tick.
What happens if my tick gets lost in the mail?
We highly recommend that all tick submissions be sent through a service that allows tracking. Lost ticks without a tracking number may be unable to be located. If a tick is lost in transit and cannot be located, we will provide a full refund for testing services. Any other costs associated with sending the tick will need to be directed towards the appropriate mail service provider.
Are you still open during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes. Geneticks has remained open during the current COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to update as the situation progresses.
How will the pandemic affect my testing time?
Currently, Geneticks has not been impacted by any delays in testing or turnaround of customer results. However, it is important to note that we have seen some delays with mail delivery services, which could impact the amount of time it takes for us to receive a tick submission.