To remove an attached tick:
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick at the skin surface. If tweezers are not available, use a tissue or paper towel to protect your fingers from possible exposure to the tick's body fluids. With a steady motion, gently pull the tick straight out. Do not twist, jerk or crush the tick's body. After removal, clean site and hands with soap and water.

Only ticks that were attached to humans may be submitted to DSHS for identification and testing. They should be put in a small container or vial with a leak-proof lid. Ticks may be submitted live or preserved in 70 percent ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. Never mail ticks loose in an envelope. A tick submission form should be completed for each tick.
tick removal graphic

A copy of the tick submission form can be found online at the Department of State Health Services Web site. Place the tick container in a padded envelope or mailing tube and mail to:

Department of State Health Services
Attn: Zoonosis Control - MC 1956
P.O. Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347

Zoonosis Control Branch

There is no testing charge.

For more information, contact your local health department,
or the Texas Department of State Health Services.

NOTE: The Texas Department of Health (TDH) has merged with other agencies and is now part of the new Department of State Health Services (DSHS), resulting in the following e-mail address format change for all employees:

See Additional Notes – Avoiding Ticks is the Best Way to Prevent Diseases They Carry