Observations & Identification

Joining and Contributing to Tick Tag Go is Simple.

Become a citizen scientist by submitting your tick sightings on iNaturalist. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Join iNaturalist. Tick Tag Go's database is stored in iNaturalist. Please visit iNaturalist.org to set up an account.
  2. Download the App. If you have a smart device, we highly recommend downloading the app for iNaturalist. This will allow you to quickly and efficiently add photographs to your account while you are out and about. The app is available for Android and Apple devices.
  3. Join the Tick Tag Go Project Page on iNaturalist. Once you have an account set up, the next step is to find and join the Tick Tag Go project page. Click the "Join this project" link in the upper right hand corner.
  4. Photograph your Tick. Make sure to get multiple photographs of your tick. We'd appreciate at least two angles - one of the tick's back and one of its side. Place the tick on a light colored surface to help visibility. If you've got a reference object for size (a penny, for example), throw that in there, too.
    photo of American Dog Tick next to a penny for size comparison
  5. Add your Data to iNaturalist. After logging into iNaturalist, you'll be able to take or add photos to an observation.
    • Add your photos
    • You can click on "What did you see?" to type in the tick species you think it is.
    • Make sure you indicate the location at which you found the tick
    • Before clicking on share, make sure to tap on "Projects" and check "Tick Tag Go" so that we can see your data point.
  6. Answer Questions. Once you select Tick Tag Go, some additional questions will pop up for you to answer. We are interested in what the tick was found on (Person? Animal? Free in the environment?), whether or not it was attached to the skin, if it was attached, where on the body it was attached, and whether you traveled outside of your county in the last 2 weeks.

Saving Ticks for Species Identification

If you are interested in bringing your tick in for identification, please carefully follow the instructions below to keep yourself, your family and/or pets, and us safe. Ticks will be identified as expediently as possible and we will reach out using the contact information you have provided.

  1. Secure the tick in a vial or ziploc bag. Secure the top of the vial or bag with tape.
  2. Freeze the tick for three or more days to preserve the specimen.
  3. Print out and complete the data form. We cannot accept ticks without a completed data form
  4. Mail to: ATTN: Tick Tag Go, c/o Louise Lynch-O'Brien, 103 Entomology Hall, 1700 East Campus Mall, Lincoln, NE 68583.
    • A second option is to deliver your specimen, packaged as described above to 103 Entomology Hall, 1700 East Campus Mall, Lincoln, NE 68583.
photo of tick being held by tweezers

Follow Tick Tag Go on Social Media

tiktok icon