Thousands likely to get tick-borne disease in Massachusetts this year

Few experiences are creepier than finding a tick attached to your body — except, perhaps, pondering the harmful germs the eight-legged critter may be injecting.

But ponder no more: If you send a tick to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, you can find out exactly what manner of microbe may have infected it — and possibly, you. Lyme disease is the most prevalent, but ticks carry several other viruses, parasites, and bacteria.

People who find a tick on their body can put it in a plastic bag — dead or alive — and mail it to the UMass lab. For a fee, confidential results come by e-mail within three days.