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turtlepoop747
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I am hoping that someone out there can help me. I have heard the rumor (UL?) that cockroaches can climb in your ears at night. I remember seeing on an episode of ER that a woman came in with an earache, and they pulled a LIVE cockroach (it wiggled... ewww) out of her ear. I also saw it in the movie Brokedown Palace. So, whats the deal? I think to my self; the actual hole from my ear to my skull is pretty small.....
Anyway, I hope that this isn't a subject that has already been discussed and resolved, I'm kinda new here. I would appreciate anyones thoughts on this.

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rosa in the straw
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Oh, hon, this oughta put you on the right track:

snopes goes buggy

Rosa, not Roach-a


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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Yes, insects, not just roaches, can climb into people's ears. From one study evaluating how to get them out
quote:
Insects commonly present as painful and distressing foreign bodies of the external ear canal. Removing live insects can be challenging, especially for primary care physicians who have limited equipment. The purpose of this study is to compare the insecticidal activity of commonly available preparations for insects that are most frequently recovered from ear canals: cockroaches (German and American), ticks, beetles, and honeybees.

A summary of children treated for foreign bodies in the ear

quote:
Age ranged from 15 months to 14 years, with a mean of 6.5 years. The sex ratio was 1.2 (19 boys/16 girls). Five children had bilateral foreign bodies. The most frequent foreign bodies were pearls (8/40) and cockroaches (7/40).

From Thailand

quote:
We present a rare case of a living mature termite in the middle ear of a 9-year-old girl complaining of intermittent attacks of otalgia [pain in the ear] associated with a loud cracking sound in the left ear.

From Oman

quote:
Two cases of human ear invasion by a predaceous beetle, Crasydactylus punctatus Guerin (Coleoptera; Carabidae), are reported from the Sultanate of Oman. The first case was that of a 35-year old woman who suffered a severe otologic injury caused by the biting and chewing of the external auditory canal and the tympanic membrane. The beetle then entered the middle ear and caused sensorineural hearing loss. The second case involved a 22-year-old male from whose ear a specimen of the same species was successfully removed after it was immobilized with 10% lidocaine spray.

Malaysia
quote:
The most common arthropod encountered was the cockroach, followed by a cattle tick

Israel
quote:
Foreign objects in the external auditory canal are frequent in ENT practice. Invasion by the recently defined dung beetle, Maladera matrida, is a new phenomenon which causes extreme distress, usually starting after invasion by the insect in the early morning hours. Extracting it is very difficult. This beetle is a relatively new, albeit already common problem in Israel. As yet it cannot be effectively controlled. It may well become a more severe problem which will necessitate screening of windows in urban as well as rural areas.

All quotes above are taken from abstracts of articles published in peer-reveiwed journals; they are not anecdotes.

Kathy "how about corn earworm?" B.

--------------------
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."


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turtlepoop747
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by rosa in the straw:
Oh, hon, this oughta put you on the right track:

snopes goes buggy

Rosa, not Roach-a


Thats not quite what I meant. I know that they can't burrow through your head, I just meant do they climb in the ear and hang out there. So now after reading Kathy B's post... I realize they can, they do, and thats sick! I really don't have any fear of a cockroach inhabiting my ear though, I have never even seen a roach! I don't think that they live in the area I do. I was just curious, thank you both!
I still think it is creepy and gross though!


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raistlin
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Kathy B, I think that's freaked me out for the entire WEEK!

Has anything like this ever happened to anyone here?

raistlin.


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Meddik
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Back, when I was in High School, I believe 9th or 10th Grade...

I was Standing in the church parking lot, talking with the Youth Pastor. (My church had an assistant pastor who spent most of his time working with the Middleschool-College age kids in the church)

A moth was flying around, and flew straight into his ear, crawling inside as the two of us were talking. (It all happened very very quickly, but it may have landed just outside the ear and crawled in very fast, I'm not sure...)

Anyway, it was there, fluttering its wings right up against his eardrum, driving him absolutely insane. nobody could figure out how to get it out, until I suggested that someone turn on their car's headlights, and he put his ear right in front of it.

As it turns out, the light attracted the moth, and in 10 seconds it was out.

The whole episode lasted only about 4-5 minutes I suppose.


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rosa in the straw
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Everybody buy stock in an earplug manufacturer!

Bad rosa


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Limey
The Red and the Green Stamps


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^^^^^trying to get rid of cockroach

In "The Damage Done" an allegedly true story of life in a Bangkok Prison the author opens the book with a story of not just one but a whole sac of eggs being laid under the skin of a fellow prisoner who was left "writhing in agony and screaming"...

but then people with convictions for drug smuggling aren't always reliable witnesses...


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fortunee
The Red and the Green Stamps


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In tenth grade we watched the movie Mountains of the Moon (I think that's what it's called) where a bug crawled into the ear of an English explorer in Africa while he was asleep. He woke up in agony and after numerous attempts by the others, stuck the needle from a compass in his ear to kill the bug. It was a hideous scene ... made weirder by the narration that every time the man sneezed, he made a strange weezing sound...
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boogers
We Three Blings


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I have heard the remedy for this is to pour mineral oil in the ear; as it deprives the bug of oxygen it will quickly come out. I've never had to try it myself though.
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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by fortunee:
In tenth grade we watched the movie Mountains of the Moon (I think that's what it's called) where a bug crawled into the ear of an English explorer in Africa while he was asleep.

Right on. I saw it last year for a seminar about nature in cinema, mostly centered on American culture's take on Africa.

Mountains of the Moon (1990)

The explorer was John Speke, played by Iain Glen. Supposedly this event was taken directly from journals of the expedition.

Alchemy

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Thinking about New England / missing old Japan


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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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A couple years ago my mom was out mowing the lawn. She ducked through some low hanging walnut tree branches and something got into her ear. I couldn't see anything, and we tried shining a flashlight into her ear, but I guess it wasn't bright enough. We took a syringe and tried putting water into her ear, but it didn't work. We drove to a walk-in clinic, explained the problem, and they let her in immediately. The doctor shined that bright light with the cone thing on it into mom's ear and the bug zipped right out of the ear into the cone - turned out to be an earwig.

--------------------
"You're the opposite of troll. It's a compliment!"

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melissababe
The Red and the Green Stamps


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My aunt was troubled for days with a 'flutter' in her ear. She got up in the middle of the night and proceeded to lay her head on the bathroom counter, as it was cool. When she lifted her head up there was a lady bug on the counter and the flutter in her ear was gone. I guess my uncle almost wet his pants when he awoke to my aunt screaming and pointing at a ladybug and saying "it's a bug, it's a bug!"


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dagwood
Deck the Malls


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I will now have nightmares for at least a week. I think I will buy earplugs. Lots and lots of earplugs.

Dag "or wear earmuffs to bed" wood


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fortunee
The Red and the Green Stamps


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ooo, scary smiley....

At a small rural resort my family was at a few years ago, roaches were rampant in the cabin we were renting. When I laid down on the bed to go to sleep, lying on my side, a roach crawled out from under the covers and under the pillow, not six inches from my face. Believe me when I say I jumped about five feet away from the bed. Now, before I sleep in a hotel bed, I strip the sheets down to the bottom just to check.

fortune"i didn't sleep very well that night"e


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sceeva
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by turtlepoop747:

I have never even seen a roach! I don't think that they live in the area I do.


Where do you live because I'm moving there!!


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turtlepoop747
The Red and the Green Stamps


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In the cold cold north East!
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junemiller31
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Ugh...when I was about 10 I went to Yellowstone with my family. After exiting the campground shower my mother quickly reached out and snatched something off my earlobe. Turned out I had picked up a tick and it was making a beeline for the inside of my ear. After that I wore earplugs in the shower.

And I always wear them at night because I am a very light sleeper. I never thought about the other advantages to earplugs!

Sarah "can I take a shower in Old Faithful?" T.


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FIREMAN88
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Yes,any little critter can and will enter the ear canal if given the chance.The Bushmen of Australia sleep on their elbow to discourage this. Also the purpose of ear wax is to act as an insect repellant. That explains it"s bitter taste, not that I have tasted it,YUCK.
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-On the Sceevath Day of Christmas-
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by FIREMAN88:
Also the purpose of ear wax is to act as an insect repellant.


Um, alright. Where did you hear that?


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ParaDiddle
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Once again, I'm reminded of the paramedic who taught my EMT class. Mind you, this was the same guy who told the gerbilling story as if he had responded to the call.

Anyway, he told us that we were to remove bugs from an ear by filling the ear canal with cooking oil so the bug would just float out. Seriously, if the guy hadn't already retired, I'd report him to the National Registry.

- Para "Still waiting for Fireman88 to respond" Diddle


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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by FIREMAN88:
Yes,any little critter can and will enter the ear canal if given the chance.The Bushmen of Australia sleep on their elbow to discourage this. Also the purpose of ear wax is to act as an insect repellant. That explains it"s bitter taste, not that I have tasted it,YUCK.

Not exactly 'repellant'. More like 'barrier'. Ear wax is there to prevent that if anything gets there, it won't go all the way to your eardrum.

Jaime

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"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck


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Stubiter
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Not sure I have heard the term 'bushmen' used before in relation to indigenous Australians before. Only in regard to African Khalahari desert inhabitants.
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Chava
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Anyway he told us tha we were to remove bug's from an ear by floating them out with cooking oil.

It would probably work. And I doubt if it would hurt the victim unless you used it straight out of the 370º deep-fat fryer. Or if the eardrum were perforated.

People with a tendency to collect excessive amounts of ear wax are told to use glycerin or baby oil to loosen the wax. When I was a kid the camp nurse used baby oil to get a bug out of my ear. I imagine cooking oil would have worked just as well, and probably more people have cooking oil sitting around than baby oil.

Just for interest, what would your bug-removal technique be?

Chava


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ParaDiddle
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Chava:
Just for interest, what would your bug-removal technique be?

Chava



I haven't had to do it yet, but using the "it probably couldn't hurt" rationale, I'd try filling the ear canal with cooking or baby oil.

What troubles me is that in one of the earlier posts, a medical journal aimed at MDs decribes bug removal as "challenging". That's what made me doubt what I had learned in EMT class.

OTOH, there are times when we have to be creative on the scene. About three years ago, I had a call for a 10 year-old girl with abdominal pain. The family was visiting in the city to see a parade. The parents recited the girl's history, relating that she had chronic gastric distress. X-rays indicated large pockets of intestinal gas that caused pain becuase she couldn't pass them. The doctors often prescribed medication to make the gas pass. This day, nothing was moving.

Now I've got this stressed-out parent, a crying kid, and nothing to treat her with but a box of splints and bandages. What I did was, I told her how to make herself fart. I asked her if she was embarassed to do it right now. She was a real trouper, so my partner and I commandeered a restroom and and she went in and assumed the position.

About two minutes later, things were moving and she was giggling. The dad said he was going to write a letter of recommendation to my Chief, but it never arrived. I'm sure he couldnt figure out how to describe the scene. In short, sometimes we have to to procedures which are not sanctioned by the AMA.

- Para "Now lie down and do everything the nice fireman says" Diddle


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Mojo Jojo
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OK, not only will I not be able to sleep for a weel, but I will be paranoid about a bug coming in my ear...at any time...my ear is already hurting... [Thwack]
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FIREMAN88
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Okay, already. Ear wax acts as a barrier,like a bug pest strip! But I still believe that it acts as a repellant to some degree{read somewhere}. AND, NO it was not Australia{my bad} but the Kalaharie{spelling}. GEEZ, it is Christmas, give me a break! lol Anyway you got the gist of it. I am going to light my Christmas Ear Wax candles. Merry Christmas everyone, even you Para! lol
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There Arose Such A Klatteroklzmk
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When I was a teen, I discovered that one of the kids I was baby-sitting had a tick in his ear at the nightly tick-check ritual. Being as their family were Christian Scientists, I knew a trip to the ER was out. However, since (at that time ) I was thinking of being an MD as a possible career, I knew that putting something oily on the tick would most likelycut off its air supply and it would release. With a little corn oil, the blown out end of a match, & some tweezers it came right out.
A few years ago, I had a cat with ear-mites; they also recommended mineral or cooking oil, but I opted for the coward's way out and let {b}them[/b] take care of it.
Speaking of the movie {b]THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON[/b], which is about the expedition of Burton and Speke to find the source of the Nile, I thought Burton had to drip hot candle wax into Speke's ear before removing the insect with the needle; leaving Speke deaf in that ear.
But that didn't compare to the scene in the beginning when Burton turned around and got a spear through the mouth,which cleft his palate. This leads to an amusing scene later in the movie where Burton meets Dr. Livingston and they start comparing scars!
It's a very good movie-I recommend it.

Kat "No, really, just close your eyes during those parts if it bothers you...!" O'Klzmk


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Cure the Blues
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by boogers:
I have heard the remedy for this is to pour mineral oil in the ear; as it deprives the bug of oxygen it will quickly come out. I've never had to try it myself though.

Here's an abstract from the Annals of Emergency Medicine:
quote:
Chemical immobilization and killing of intra-aural roaches: an in vitro comparative study.

Leffler S, Cheney P, Tandberg D.

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: The treatment of live insects in patients' ears is controversial. To determine which chemical agent is most effective for immobilizing and killing intra-aural cockroaches, we carried out the following investigation. DESIGN: An in vitro blinded comparative study. INTERVENTIONS: A model was developed in which live cockroaches were submerged in microscope immersion oil, 2% lidocaine, 4% lidocaine, or 2% viscous lidocaine in a glass beaker. Responses of cockroaches were recorded with a video-cassette recorder and evaluated later by a blinded observer. Measured variables were time to death and time-integrated activity before death. Analysis was by analysis of variance with Tukey's procedure. RESULTS: Four groups of 40 cockroaches each were exposed to each of the four agents. Microscope oil killed the insects most quickly {mean, 27.2 seconds; 95% confidence interval, 23.8 to 30.6}. The other agents required more than 40 seconds and were inferior to oil {F = 15.5, P < .0001}. Total activity was also least in the microscope oil group {F = 25.7, P < .0001}. CONCLUSION: Microscope immersion oil is the most effective agent for immobilizing and killing intra-aural cockroaches.


I would assume mineral oil would be just as effective as immersion oil. It would surely be a lot cheaper than immersion oil (which has the same refractive properties as glass and can be quite expensive -- the stuff I used was about $100 for a 30 mL vial).

Edit: I should add that I was using the immersion oil for fluorescence microscopy of some cell lines that I had at the time and in no way was trying to kill cockroaches either inside or outside of people's ears.

--------------------
"Of all the Daliesque tourist traps in the world, we had to walk into this one."


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