Manitoba Tick Checker

Image of Tick

Manitobans can submit a photo of a blacklegged tick as part of the Blacklegged Tick Passive Surveillance Program. MHSAL staff will review the image to determine if it is a blacklegged tick and contact you with further instructions. The purpose of the passive surveillance program is to help guide active surveillance efforts and to gain further information about the distribution of blacklegged tick populations, activity periods and the presence of tick-borne diseases. The blacklegged tick surveillance program is not meant to inform clinical diagnosis of tick-borne diseases in people or pets.

Please submit your photo(s) and the required additional information using the form below. This information is critical to the success of the program.

NOTE: Please save the 7 digit confirmation ID provided at the end of this electronic submission process. Should you have any questions this number will allow staff to access your submission details.

Information regarding tick-borne diseases, including prevention measures, surveillance and signs and symptoms can be found by clicking here.

Blacklegged Tick

Figure 1 – Clockwise from top right, adult male blacklegged tick, adult female blacklegged tick, adult female American dog Tick and adult male American dog tick

Instructions for submitting pictures of your tick:

  • Photograph the dorsal (back) side of the tick (Figure 1, 2 & 3).
  • Ensure that the image is in focus, this will allow staff to view key identification features (see Figure 4).
  • If possible, photograph the tick against a white background in a well lit area (Figure 5 & 6).
  • Please do not tape your tick down as this can damage the specimen making it difficult to identify.
  • TIP: To immobilize the tick place it in a freezer for approximately 20 minutes.
  • NOTE: Photo submissions may be used online and in printed materials for educational purposes only.

Each submission is limited to three attachments, with a total file size of 5 MB.

After you have taken the picture(s) you can store the tick(s) in a plastic bag with a firm seal (i.e. Ziploc bag). Engorged (i.e. blood-fed) ticks should be placed in a small crushproof bottle (i.e. pill bottle), or a straw folded over and taped on both ends. Place a slightly moist (not wet) tissue or cotton swab in the bag or container with the tick. Ticks can be stored in the fridge or freezer until MHSAL staff provide you with further instructions.

Figure 2 - Dorsal view of an adult male American dog tick

American dog tick

Figure 3 – Dorsal view of an adult female Blacklegged tick

Blacklegged tick

Figure 4 – Poorly focused image from which specimen cannot be identified

Poorly focused image

Figure 5 – Adult male (bottom left) and female (top right) blacklegged ticks

Blacklegged tick

Figure 6 – Partially engorged adult female blacklegged tick

Blacklegged tick

What should I expect if I submit a photo?

TICK SUBMISSIONS ARE NOT MEANT TO INFORM CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS OF TICK-BORNE DISEASES IN PEOPLE OR PETS. All photographs will be examined in a timely manner and an email response will be provided.  You may be asked to submit your tick specimen for further identification and testing, and if so additional information will be provided. Once specimens have been received and identified, they are submitted to the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML). NML will test suitable specimens for a variety of tick-borne disease causing agents. Note that MHSAL does not have any control over the schedule or priority of the NML. As a result disease testing results can take several weeks or months.

If you wish to receive the disease testing results from the tick you submitted, you must fill out at a Personal Health Information Access (PHIA) Request form. Testing results will be sent by fax or registered mail when results are available. Please note that results cannot be emailed or communicated by telephone as these methods are considered unsecure. A PHIA request form is no longer required for Tick submissions removed from pets. Personal Health Information Access Request Form PDF

Was there any travel in the previous two weeks?
Was the tick attached?