Find a Tick? Worried about Lyme Disease? Head to the Greenwich Health Dept Lab

Yvette Ghannam, Bacteriologist at Greenwich's Dept of Health at the lab in TownHall. Photo: Leslie Yager

Yvette Ghannam, Bacteriologist at Greenwich’s Dept of Health at the lab in TownHall. Photo: Leslie Yager

The lab in the lower level of Greenwich Town Hall will examine any ticks residents bring to determine whether they carry the bacteria that correlates to Lyme Disease.

In most cases, a tick must be attached for 36-48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.

Female ticks and nymphs are more likely to carry this bacteria, so the lab will determine whether the tick is male or female. The lab fee of $65.00 only applies to female ticks.

According to Yvette Ghannam, Bacteriologist at Greenwich’s Dept of Health at the lab, any other insect identification, including bed bugs, is free. She said that if the lab in Greenwich is unable to identify the insect, they will send it to the CT Agricultural Experimental Station in New Haven.

There are also samples of all different kinds of ticks, as well as other bugs including bed bugs available to view.

The lab offers public counter services from Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 3:00pm. Tel. 203-622-7843

CLICK HERE for more information at Greenwich Town Hall on tick testing.

Samples of different types of ticks and bugs available to view at the lab at Greenwich Town Hall.

Samples of different types of ticks and bugs available to view at the lab at Greenwich Town Hall.

Samples of different types of ticks and bugs available to view at the lab at Greenwich Town Hall.

Samples of different types of ticks and bugs available to view at the lab at Greenwich Town Hall.

Experts are saying that warmer winters resulting from climate change are resulting in ticks expanding into new regions of the US.

While it is a good idea to take preventive measures against ticks year-round, the CDC advises being extra vigilant in warmer months (April-September) when ticks are most active.

Advice from online brochure from Greenwich Dept of Health.

Advice from online brochure from Greenwich Dept of Health.

Avoid Direct Contact with Ticks

  • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
  • Walk in the center of trails.

Repel Ticks on Skin and Clothing

  • Use repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours.
    • Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.
  • Use products that contain permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin. It remains protective through several washings. Pre-treated clothing is available and may be protective longer.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an online tool to help you select the repellent that is best for you and your family.

Find and Remove Ticks from Your Body

  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
  • Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs.
  • Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors.
    • If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed.
    • If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks effectively. If the clothes cannot be washed in hot water, tumble dry on low heat for 90 minutes or high heat for 60 minutes. The clothes should be warm and completely dry.
  • Samples of different types of ticks and bugs available to view at the lab at Greenwich Town Hall.

      Samples of different types of ticks and bugs available to view at the lab at Greenwich Town Hall.

    Samples of different types of ticks and bugs available to view at the lab at Greenwich Town Hall.

    The Dept of Health laboratory at Greenwich Town Hall is located in the lower level. Photo: Leslie Yager


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