It's tick season...like we needed something else to worry about in 2020. We had an unusually mild winter in the Capital Region and that had increased the tick population and the dangers they pose to pets and humans.

A few weeks ago I wrote a story about a new kind of tick that is making its way into Upstate New York. It's called the Lone Star Tick and it's bigger, more aggressive, and carries different diseases than the usual ticks around here. You can read more about them HERE.

Did you know that when you find a tick on your dog or on yourself you can send that tick to a lab and have it tested for Lyme Disease? Best of all it's absolutely free.

The laboratory will identify the tick, test it for any diseases it may be carrying, and provide the results that you can get online. The lab was shut down due to the coronavirus, but it's now reopened in phase one and is ready to test ticks.

According to the article on www.nyup.com since the lab launched this program last year they have tested more than 4000 ticks and about one-third of them were carrying a disease, mostly Lyme.

If you find a tick on yourself or your pet and you'd like to have it tested send it to:

Thangamani Lab

4209 Institute for Human Performance (IHP)

505 Irving Avenue 

SUNY Center for Environmental Health and Medicine

SUNY Upstate Medical University 

Syracuse NY 13210 

Once you fill out the online form, put the tick (only one) in a zip lock bag with a small square of wet paper towel to keep it moist because they can't test a dried out tick.  Mail the tick in the ziplock bag in a padded envelope and then wait for the results.

For more information about the tick program go to www./thangamani-lab.com/tick-submission

In the meantime get out the bug and tick spray 'cause it's gonna be a bad one this year.

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