A man in the US state of Florida was reportedly struggling with a roach infestation at his flat earlier this month when he realised the problem had migrated to his ear canal. And this is your last chance to stop reading before you have to live with this knowledge for the rest of your life.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports that Blake Collins got himself to hospital after he realised one of his cockroach nemeses had lodged itself in his ear. He’d been battling an influx of German roaches for three years and the problem was now personal. “I could hear his legs inside me. It felt like someone was shoving a Q-tip all the way inside my head and there was nothing I could do to stop it,” he told the paper.
Once a doctor was able to see to him, the emergency room physician used a syringe filled with lidocaine to exterminate the vile creature. The sequence of events that followed are a panic-inducing roller coaster of survival. “When he poured the lidocaine in, I could feel him go super, super fast, kicking and try to dig its way out, and a faint little squeal and then two minutes later, it just stopped and he died,” Collins said. After a few moments of struggle that surely felt like an eternity, Collins claims, “I heard it die in my head.”
But roaches are resilient as hell, and this one had one last surprise for Collins: it was a lady roach and laid an egg case. The man is fortunate the doctor got the egg case out of his ear as well, because things could have gone bad if it hatched. Technically known as an ootheca, a German cockroach’s egg delivery sac can contain up to 50 individual eggs. Miniature Lives: Identifying Insects in Your Home and Garden explains the hatching process:
To hatch, the baby cockroaches must work as a team. The swallow gulps of air, causing their bodies to inflate like tiny balloons. Their rapidly expanding girth pries apart the walls of their ootheca, allowing them to escape into the outside world.
Needless to say, Collins isn’t happy and he blames the manager of his apartment complex for neglecting to handle his pest control problem after repeated requests. “The fact that she let the roach problem go on was neglect and I have suffered a personal injury,” he told the paper. Collins said he and his husband have broken their lease early and moved out.
While the roach moving around in his ear may have sounded like a cotton bud, that’s one tool the Mayo Clinic specifically warns you to avoid if you find yourself in this situation. Floating the insect out by pouring mineral oil, olive oil or baby oil into the ear is recommended. But honestly just get yourself to hospital. And don’t drive, we don’t need people with roaches in their heads piloting automobiles. [Tallahassee Democrat via ABC 10]