Removed ticks should either be killed or sent for identification. If killed, they should not be crushed as release of stomach contents into the environment may spread pathogens. Identification and recording of ticks across the country is important to map their distribution, and in identifying potential tick borne diseases that may be passed to dogs or owners.

If sending for identification:

Please carefully package live ticks so that there is no danger of them escaping or posing any risk to mail handling staff if the package becomes damaged during transit.

When posting ticks, please make sure that you:

  • Use a crush-proof, plastic container (eg, an old camera film case) that is securely fastened with tape; alternatively, a screw-top plastic vial can be supplied on request to the address below
  • Post the container in a padded envelope with a visible return address
  • Mark the package as ‘urgent – live creatures’
  • Include a completed recording form (see The Gov.UK website)

Send to:

Tick surveillance scheme
Public Health England
Porton Down

Wiltshire
Salisbury
SP4 0JG

PHE provide identification of specimens within 2 weeks of receipt (during exceptionally busy times, this may be longer). We will notify you of the identification results if you provide your email address.

Samples should ideally be unfed or only partially fed as features on the scutum and festoons may be partially obscured by engorgement. Tick surveillance forms and further information can be obtained from The Gov.UK website