Alaska Submit-A-Tick Program
In 2019, the Alaska Office of the State Veterinarian, in collaboration with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the University of Alaska, began the Alaska Submit-A-Tick Program. Through this program, individuals who find ticks on themselves, their family members, pets, or wildlife (e.g. hunted or trapped animals) can submit ticks for species identification and pathogen testing. Veterinarians, biologists, and other Alaskans who handle domestic animals and wildlife in the state are important resources for the monitoring program, and we welcome you to submit ticks.
Researchers are asking Alaskans to submit ticks to help determine which tick species are currently in the state. Tick submissions will also help us learn more about how ticks are being imported into Alaska so that we can create effective strategies to limit their introduction. Ticks can transmit bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can cause diseases in humans and wildlife. Pathogen testing allows us to assess tickborne disease risk in the state.
Which ticks have been found in Alaska?
The results of our tick surveillance program are now available. We periodically update these results as we receive ticks so check back for the latest information!
It is only through the help and participation of people like you that this surveillance effort will be successful.
If you are interested in submitting a tick that you have found, follow the steps below.
- Carefully remove the tick if it is attached and feeding.
- Put the tick into a clean, small plastic or metal container (e.g. vial or small pill bottle). Multiple ticks from the same person or animal may be placed into one container. If ticks are collected from more than one person or animal, please use separate containers.
- Place the container into a Ziploc bag.
- Print and complete an Alaska Submit-A-Tick form. If ticks are collected from more than one person or animal, a separate submission form should be completed for each person or animal and placed in a separate Ziploc bag with the appropriate container of ticks.
- Place the sealed Ziploc bag(s) with ticks and submission form(s) in an envelope or small box and ship to:
- Office of the State Veterinarian
- 5251 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
- Anchorage, AK 99507
Information for Veterinarians
Veterinarians are an integral part of monitoring for non-native ticks in Alaska. If people bring their ticks to you, please help them fill out the Alaska Submit-A-Tick form and include their contact information so that we can get in touch with questions about the tick if necessary. You can also check out the Tick Outreach Materials page to find educational materials that you can hang in your clinic or hand out to clients.
Information for Wildlife Biologists
Wildlife biologists are also an important component of tick monitoring in our state. Biologists interact with wildlife more often, and more closely, than most Alaskans.
Heading out for fieldwork? You can download the Tick Collection Guide for Small and Large Mammal Biologists (PDF 2.6M) or the Tick Collection Guide for Ornithologists (PDF 2.3M) as a handy resource to add to your field kit. These documents include several photos of ticks on wildlife, provide tips for conducting tick searches on wildlife, and contain detailed instructions for how to submit ticks to the Alaska Submit-A-Tick Program for identification.
If you are interested in integrating tick checks into your research program or would like to order tick field kits to collect ticks from wildlife, please get in contact with our University of Alaska partner, Dr. Micah Hahn.