Why You Should Never Flush a Tick

Tick held in tweezers.
Instead of flushing a tick, take it to be tested at UConn instead. You may reap some pretty significant rewards.

Another summer in New England, another boom in the tick population. It seems impossible to miss media accounts of how large the population was last year and how much worse it could be this year.

And you would be hard pressed to find someone — or someone who knows someone — who hasn’t been impacted by a tick-borne disease. It’s even harder to avoid the terrifying headlines about the latest devastating disease and how rampant it is likely to be. Every mention is accompanied by that feeling that something is crawling on your arm, your neck. One could become inured to it.

But it is important not to let the yearly wave of tick stories simply wash over us, warns associate professor of pathobiology Paulo Verardi. “People have become used to ticks as just something we have to deal with. But this is a big deal.”

To read the rest of the story, go to magazine.uconn.edu.