Lyme Disease

Tick Removal and Submission

If you find a tick on your body, it can be removed with fine-tipped tweezers.  Do not squeeze or try to burn it off. Grab the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull the tick away from your skin gently but firmly. If tweezers are not available, ticks can be removed using fingers, being careful not to crush the tick.

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.

This is a diagram showing tweezers beig used to remove a tick.

Place the tick in a jar or bottle and take it to one of the following Toronto Public Health Offices for identification and possible testing.

Tick submissions from Rouge Valley, Morningside Park and Algonquin Island will no longer be forwarded to the public health laboratory for identification and testing as blacklegged ticks are now known to be established in these areas.  Toronto Public Health staff will provide identification of ticks brought into our offices from these locations:

  •  44 Victoria Street, 18th Floor, phone number 416-392-7685

 

  • 1530 Markham Road, 5th Floor, phone number 416-338-7431

 

  • 5100 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor, phone number 416-338-8410

 

  • 399 The West Mall, 4th Floor, phone number 416-338-1507

 

  • 175 Memorial Park Avenue, phone number 416-392-0936

Ticks from other areas of Toronto will be submitted to the Public Health laboratory for identification. If the tick is identified as a blacklegged tick, it is forwarded to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg to test for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Test results can take several weeks to months.

Submitting ticks is for surveillance purposes and should not be used as a way to determine if a person needs treatment for Lyme disease.

Ticks not found on a person will not be accepted by the public health lab. Ticks found on a pet can be submitted to the Animal Health Laboratory through a veterinarian to the University of Guelph.

For more information on tick submission and testing, please refer to Public Health Ontario Tick submission and testing FAQ.


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