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Specimen Submission Guidelines

The District laboratory staff will do their best to promptly identify resident-submitted samples promptly, but there may be delays during times of heavy workload or when there are multiple or frequent sample submissions.

San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District is not a medical facility and does not accept the following items for insect identification: undergarments, diapers, skin or tissue samples, items containing or contaminated with bodily fluids (such as nasal excretions, ear wax, spit, semen, urine, vaginal excretions, blood, and others), excrement (animal or human), or hair samples. If you believe you have insects in your body and believe an evaluation of your bodily fluids is required, please contact your physician or other medical care personnel.

Please do not submit vacuum bags.

Please do not submit articles of clothing. If you believe your clothing contains insects, please remove these insects from the clothing and place them in a sample container or ziplock bag before submitting. Small insects, such as mites, can be sampled using a piece of tape or a lint roller.

Please do not submit food items. The District will not accept containers of food scraps or garbage disposal contents. If you wish to submit an insect sample from a food item, please remove the insect from the food item and place it in a sample container or ziplock bag. If you believe you have an agricultural pest, please contact the County of San Mateo Agriculture Department.

The District laboratory CANNOT test resident-submitted ticks for Lyme disease or other pathogens. If you are bitten by a tick and would like to have the tick tested, please make sure that the tick remains alive and is contained in a slightly humid environment like a small jar or a plastic bag containing a moist piece of paper towel.Ticks can be brought to the District office for identification only or submitted to the County Health Laboratory, located at 225 West 37th Street, Room 113, San Mateo, California for testing. For more information, call (650) 573-2500.

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