- A New Zealand man discovered a cockroach had been living in his ear for three days.
- Zane Wedding, an arborist, said the insect invaded his ear after he fell asleep on a couch.
- A doctor had to remove the roach in two stages, one with tweezers and another with a suction device.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
An arborist in New Zealand played unwilling host last weekend to a cockroach that nestled inside his ear for three days.
Zane Wedding, 40, initially thought his left ear was clogged after he'd gone for a swim on Friday. But when the Auckland resident woke up feeling a wriggling sensation on Saturday, he sought a doctor's advice, the New Zealand Herald first reported.
The doctor didn't find the cockroach, Wedding told Insider, and instead misidentified the bug as dead skin cells on his eardrum. Wedding had his ear syringed, was prescribed antibiotics, was told the sensation would go away on its own.
"When I told him it still felt full, he assured me it was clear and I should use a hair dryer to dry up any excess water," he said. "I literally sat at home with a hair dryer blowing hot air over the cockroach for two days, cooking it in my ear."
When Insider asked Wedding if he would ever return to the above-mentioned doctor, he said: "Never!"
Over the weekend, the arborist said he continued to feel dizzy whenever he tried to walk. The movement in his ear persisted until Monday morning, at which point Wedding decided to see an ear specialist. This time, the doctor discovered the intruding insect.
"Within one second of looking in that ear she identified it as an insect," he said. "But she was shocked too, she couldn't believe it."
The specialist managed to dislodge the cockroach with tweezers, and then used a suction device to extract the insect.
After a few minutes, Wedding felt his eardrum pop as the roach was finally removed. Those moments, he said, gave him time to reflect on how every movement in his ear for the past three days had been because of a cockroach.
"Not to mention I could feel every time the doctor touched it and I just kept imagining a cockroach being squashed up against my ear drum," Wedding said.
As an arborist who regularly protests the removal of native trees in New Zealand, Wedding lived in a tree for 60 days in 2020 without incident.
"So for this to happen on my couch is a bit ridiculous to me," he said.
By the time he spoke to Insider on Thursday, Wedding said he was feeling fine. "The day after the roach was extracted, the doctor and I were worried I may get an infection, but it's improved to the point it feels normal again," he said, adding that he's still been taking antibiotics.
Ear-dwelling cockroaches have been documented before. In 2018, a doctor found a roach that laid 50 eggs and died in a Florida man's ear. Women's health magazine Self reported the same year that a woman said a cockroach burrowed into her ear and stayed there for nine days.
Dr Benjamin McGrew, an associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham department of otolaryngology, told Self that his clinic finds insects in patients' ears four or five times a year.
It's fairly common for insects to get stuck in one's ears, another medical expert, physician Dr David Kasle, told Insider in 2019 while commenting on the case of a nine-year-old boy who had a tick removed from his eardrum.