Sunday, June 08, 2008

How to safely remove a bug from your ear

As we have discussed in previous articles, having a live insect in your ear can be very disconcerting to say the least. The natural human tendency is to try and get the bug out of your ear as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this isn't the easiest task to accomplish and if done incorrectly can lead to permanent hearing loss.

How to know if a bug is in your ear
  • People with a bug in their ear often report the following symptoms: popping, crunching, fluttery, ticklish, or buzzing sound in the affected ear.
What types of bugs can get in your ear?
  • There are a number of insects that can and will enter your ear. Of the many types of insects that can get into ears, gnats, moths, and roaches are the most common. Gnats get tangled in the wax and cannot fly out. Bigger insects cannot turn around; neither can they crawl backwards. They keep on struggling, and their motion can be painful and frightening.
How to safely remove a bug from your ear
  • Your best bet is to seek qualified medical treatment. If no medical treatment is available, use the following steps.
  • First the safety warning: Never try to remove an insect with tweezers, bobby pins, cotton swabs or any other object. This can lodge the insect deeper in the ear canal. It can also damage the ear drum leading to permanent hearing loss. Don't do it!
  • Stay Calm. If you are treating someone else, especially a child, stay calm. This will help your patient stay calm as well.
  • Have the patient lean over with their ear facing upwards.
  • Fill the ear with baby oil, mineral oil, vegetable oil or olive oil. This will kill the insect and cause it to stop moving. If you don't have access to one of the oils listed above, you can attempt to use clean water only.
  • Flush the ear with warm water allowing it to overflow. Watch carefully for the insect to be flushed out.
  • If you are unable to fully remove the insect using this technique, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Website Link: Mayo Clinic - First Aid for removing foreign objects from ear

Disclaimer: Jake is not a medical doctor. The information and techniques present on this website are provided as a public service and should not be considered sound medical advice. If you experience any of the symptoms listed on this website, you should seek sound medical advice as soon as possible.

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

THEN YOU EAT IT! YUM!

Anonymous said...

LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Anonymous said...

i have a bug in my ear and iam scared as fuck

Anonymous said...

THANKS... IM SOO SCARED TOOO I CANT TAKE IT OUT IT HURTS!!! I HOPE THIS WORKS!!

Anonymous said...

THANKS... IM SOO SCARED TOOO I CANT TAKE IT OUT IT HURTS!!! I HOPE THIS WORKS!!

Anonymous said...

I hope it really work and now i learn to protect my ears from anything.

Anonymous said...

I never thought i would be on here..... i had my dad spray a hose in my ear i wanted that motherfucker out of there.

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting for me to read this blog. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.

Anonymous said...

crazy...this just happened to my husband...small 'no seeum' flew in his ear...this worked for us...thanks for the tips as it saved us a trip to the E.R.

The Bigtyme Magazine said...

Wow ril helpfull, its 2 am n i had dis litle ant in my ear n its africa its jst lucky i av an internet enabled phone n kem acros d produce n nw am lukin at d litle buglar wu was tryin 2 go deeper in2 ma ear 5 min ago. Thnx alot

Anonymous said...

had a dadgum cockroach crawl in my ear...tried flushing him out with water; that just made him more agitated. I think he is trying to crawl thru to the other ear..ouch.

Anonymous said...

I went to a baseball game with my boyfried like a week ago and we were on our way to leave when a bug fly in my ear, I was freaking out and crying my poor bf had no idea what to do or how to calm me down, we went into his truck and he called his sister (the same thing happened to her a year back) she told him to shine a light in your ear. He did and about a min or two later the bug came out. It was such a crazy experience and hurt like hell. But I have to say this method worked really well,

Anonymous said...

This happened to me last night. A beetle crawled in my ear while sleeping. I went frantic and it hurt like hell. My husband tried to take it out but he couldn't take it out. By This time I was screaming in pain. My husband rushed to get my neighbor to help. She flushed the ear with hydrogen peroxide and it finally came out. My ear still hurts and throbs a bit. Now I am scared to death of bugs and will wear cotton in my ears before going to sleep.

Anonymous said...

Well have had this itching feeling in my right ear for a couple of days and also, what sounded or felt like water in the ear. As I live out near Death Valley, not much lakes to jump in, but still thought I was getting an ear infection. So put some hydrogen preoxide onto a loose end of a Q-tip and slowly cleaned my ear (thinking it was ear wax problem) but when I pulled the Q-tip out,,,what looked like a very small piece of ear wax with both ends dark and it ws not moving. Got a magnifying glass and looked at it, and it had legs LOL. Poured hydrogen peroxide into my ear let it boil away, turned and cleaned it. No more bugs, but will do again soon. This added June 26, 2010

Anonymous said...

Today I had a cricket/grass hopper in my ear! It first felt like water was in it. Then it got painful and some blood came out. Went to the hospital and on the way there i think it died cause it didn't hurt as much. Nurse checked in my ear and saw the bug. Tryed flushing it with water and nothing came out. She then got some tweezer tool and pulled it out!

Anonymous said...

ok i passed out and woke up two hours later from a dead sleep listening to what appears to be a damn bug posting up in my ear!!! so naturally i freaked out!!! and i tried to use a q tip to get it out before it got too deep.... think it made it worse, so i went and woke up mom, she tried to flush it out with peroxide and water, after a good few mins in pain... we had no luck. im still freaking out she said wait for morning to go to the clinic, i want to no, is it posible for the thing to just keep going and never come back out?? email me pls it hurts!! tolock9@yahoo

Anonymous said...

yuck!! i hate insects now..they make my ear their hideout

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just returned from Mexico. I woke up with noise like wind in my ear a feeling like a worm moving and shooting jaw pain. i called my friend to my bedside and we turned on the lamp. I stayed still with my ear up and slowly blew through my nose a couple long times. The thing was moving, it hurt from ear to jaw and then the tinest ant crawled out. amazing. i think the light helped too.

Anonymous said...

i have a roach in my ear its so uncomfortable and what i read on the internet about it i have only two options left this or a trip to the er

WT149 said...

Now that is why I wear headphones,
with no bugs on it at least.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so so much! The oil worked wonders! My Dad thought a bug dropped into his ear, he rinsed it with water and had me look in it, but no bug so after a while convinced himself that it was nothing. I looked online and after reading this and some other sites saying the same thing, he put some canola oil in his ear and a SPIDER darted out instantly. The smothering oil had the spider making a very quick escape....UGHHH! my skin is still crawling! I hope it didn't bit him though :( Thanks again, gr8 tips!

Anonymous said...

Just used the mineral oil method to drown and then a bulb with warm water to flush out...worked like a charm. Thanks.

CLIVE MUTSEURA said...

thanks, it really helps.

Anonymous said...

A bug went in my left ear at 3am today while I was sleeping. Dad pored oil in my ear but now the bug is still Dead in my ear n I want it remove.. Its itching me!!!

Anonymous said...

i've have this constant fluttering in my right ear for a couple weeks and think its a bug. i tried mineral oil, water, peroxide but nothing worked and the fluttering continues. there is no pain at all though, just some annoyance at hearing the flutter periodically. what is the likelihood that this is a bug and not some ear condition?

Anonymous said...

another possible is pain because im in alot of pain right now and im pretty sure its a roach

Anonymous said...

This better work ......damn this bug.

Anonymous said...

This bug is so damn annoying and I can't get to sleep tried everything but still no use

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. I thought I was going crazy, sounded like a mouse scurrying in my ear. Used a medicine dropper with olive oil. I'm off to the walk-in since I couldn't/don't want to get it out myself. Even though it's still in there I feel 100% better knowing it's DEAD!

Anonymous said...

I woke up from a dead sleep with the creepy,ticklish sensation in my left ear I immediately freaked out,I felt as if I'm going crazy.I knew what to do but I was
scared.The's no buzzing sound I think its dead.I'm gonna squash it until I'm sure dat it dead.Bloody thing!!!crying for my peaceful sleep.

spider girl said...

thanks this worked! i kept repeating the process until a baby spider came out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks it work for me I just got a big roach out of my ear with the oil.

Anonymous said...

A BUG GOT IN MY HEAR AND I USED BABY OIL, IT CAME RIGHT OUT, THANKS FOR THE TIPS

Anonymous said...

My fiancé just freaked out, saying a bug flew in his ear! I put my ear up to his & heard it fluttering EWW! I googled what to do, followed the instructions on this site & out flushed the bug! THANK YOU!!

Anonymous said...

I went fishing over the Memorial holiday and I believe I have a TICK in my ear! I do not have any health insurance to go to the ER, and I am broke as a bad joke- HELPPP!!

marisol martinez said...

omg i hope this works, i was standing out side when something flew right into my ear ,fluttered for a while and its now stoped, hope it wasnt a flying roach,ive seen some flying around out here lately,hope its just a moth , please wish me luck here i go

HappyMom said...

This worked perfectly. My daughter got up this morning crying that there was a bug in her ear and that she kept feeling it move. She tried peroxide but it worked. I tried this method and I didnt even have to flush with the warm water. The roach came out with the oil. We used olive oil. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Now I can say there was a roach in my ear.I was sleeping and felt something on my ear and the stupid thing went in the earcanal.My mum killed it with alcohol and tried flushing it out but it didnt work.Now we wait for clinic to open. I feel like burning the room to kill all the damned roaches

Anonymous said...

I woke up hearin buzzing and I instantly freaked out cuz im on a camping trip so I think its a bug wish me luck and thank god for four g smart phones this better work

Anonymous said...

this site saved my life!! got an earwig out of my ear with baby oil. i hate bugs so much!! thank you thank you thank you for posting this info!

Anonymous said...

Is there a tool in wal mart I can use to see deep in my ear?

Anonymous said...

I woke up to a sound of legs scurrying in my right ear. I freaked out instantly n right away knew it was a bug. I tried getting it out with my finger since I was in panic, probably nit the best idea. I woke my mom n we put some oil in my ear I cant hear it anymore im guessing its dead. We tried gettig it out with water but no luck so far. Still not even sure what kind of bug it is. I just hope the rest of the oil gets out later on and hopefully with whatever creature decided to camp out in my ear ;_;

Zeeshan said...

ooooooooooooooooo thanksssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss alllllllllllllllooooooot

I got bug in my ear and i was so tense i saw your post i put hot olive oil using a cotton and bug got out alive on cotton
now bug is fine and i am also fine

Anonymous said...

This just happened to me and I freaked out. If this happens to you, remain calm; everything is going to be ok. The olive oil worked to drown the bug and stop it from fluttering. However, I could not hear after I put the oil in my ear and that freaked me out even more. I spent four plus hours in the er and the doctors were unable to remove the bug. They tried irrigating my ear and then using two different instruments to remove the bug but nothing worked. Both instruments were extremely painful and produced blood and tears. I left the er in pain and my ear was bleeding due to the excessive force used by the er doctors. Three days later, I made an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Thank heaven I did because the doctor was able to remove the sizeable bug with NO PAIN and in about TWO MINUTES. The specialist also vacuumed out the bug debris and blood in my ear. Lastly, he gave me anti-biotic drops to put in my ear to prevent an infection. Bottom line, use oil to kill the bug, irrigate the ear with peroxide after and if this doesn't remove the bug, PLEASE GO TO A SPECIALIST. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AT THE ER!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank You Jesus amen!!

Anonymous said...

So, I heard something buzz near my ear and I freaked because the same ear has been itchy and I have been thinking that it is swollen. My mom said it was fine but I heard stories about people getting bugs in their ear and having the bug lay eggs. Now, I'm 13 so hearing that is scary as heck. I was probably just paranoid but still, its scary. I also felt tickling in the ear like I had some of my hair in it. My mom told be it was the living room fan blowing the hairs in my ear around. I still insisted on at least turning the lights off and shining a light in my ear. After awhile nothing came out. As I type this my ear feels no tickling, or itching. So that calms me because all of this happened 5 minutes ago. Thank you for the oil tips though. I did stick a swab in my ear and then read this so I freaked even more. (like on the verge of tears) Now I know that if I really have a bug in my ear, I know what to do.
THANKS AGAIN!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the instruction. In a panic my little girl said a gnat flew in her ear and was laying eggs in her brain and she was going to die very soon. Olive oil washed it right out into the sink. She is going to live!

Anonymous said...

That works great!
Thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

Last night a bug got into my ear. We drowned it with olive oil and slept hopping it would fall out. In the morning nothing was out, so we tried flashing with water. Nothing. Then tried a couple of times with a syringe with no success. Just when we were ready to quit, we tried a last time with extra force and a whole mosquito came out!

Anonymous said...

i THINK i HAVE A SMALL SPIDER LIVING IN MY EAR. I FEEL A TICKLING SENSATION AND CAN FEEL SOMETHING MOVING AROUND INSIDE. IS MOST ANNOYING WHEN TRYING TOO SLEEP AND WHEN EVERYTHING IS QUIET. BEEN GOING ON FOR ALMOST A MONTH NOW AND RINSING WITH WARM WATER HAS NOT HELPED... IT'S HARD TOO SLEEP! GUESS I NEED TOO TRY MINERAL OIL OR SOMETHING, CANT GET A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP. HOW DOES IT SURVIVE FOR SO LONG, IS IT EATING EAR WAX? IS IT LAYING EGGS? THIS SUCKS, I DON'T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE... FREAKING CREEPS ME OUT WHEN TRYING TOO SLEEP SO I KEEP MY RADIO ON SO I DON'T HEAR IT MOVING AROUND... UGH, THIS SUCKS!!!!

Busubanshee said...

Thank you! what a relief!

Busubanshee said...

thank you! relief!

stacy. m.d. said...

I think a roach might have crawled in my ear. I could feel it moving, I tried digging it out with no luck. I poured some vegetable oil in ny rat then flushed it with water twice. I don't know if it came out but I don't feel anything moving around in my ear now. If my ear doesn't hurt any the rest of the day I think I'll wear ear plugs to bed tonight.:(

Anonymous said...

WOW! This is really, REALLY common! I stumbled across this post after freaking out this morning after I felt something crawl into my ear! 10 minutes later I got it out with a pair of tweezers, which I know is the one thing i'm not supposed to do, but I was in a panic cause things crawling into my ear is a big fear of mine!! I was more disturbed AFTER I pulled it out than while it was in there! I am just glad it came out in one piece and that the only thing worse that it could have been would have been a spider, so I dunno, but it is definitely interesting to see just how many people this happens to! Thanks for the article! I will put oil on my list for next time, should I ever sleep long enough for anything to ever crawl in there again!

Anonymous said...

WOW! This is really, REALLY common! I stumbled across this post after freaking out this morning after I felt something crawl into my ear! 10 minutes later I got it out with a pair of tweezers, which I know is the one thing i'm not supposed to do, but I was in a panic cause things crawling into my ear is a big fear of mine!! I was more disturbed AFTER I pulled it out than while it was in there! I am just glad it came out in one piece and that the only thing worse that it could have been would have been a spider, so I dunno, but it is definitely interesting to see just how many people this happens to! Thanks for the article! I will put oil on my list for next time, should I ever sleep long enough for anything to ever crawl in there again!

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. are we supposed to fill the ear with oil and turn sideways? please I'm so upset I am going crazy with the movements of the cockroach

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Had a bug in my ear at one amand l flushed it out with veggie oil. it was an ant. so scary.

Anonymous said...

I live in Puerto Rico last night i went to the beach. When i went to the showered something flew en my ear i haveint sleept shit i feel like I'm going crazy hearing this buzzing in my ear hope this works cus i hate hospitals ill let y'all know if anything :/

Anonymous said...

I was in Ecaudor when a bigger bug flew in my ear. I went straight to the ER and they put lidocaine and then tried to flush out with a syringe and long plastic needle, using 500 ml of warmed saline but the bug would not come out. The next day I went to San Jose, the capital, and went to a larger hospital, again to the ER. They tried again but this time with long tweezers while opening my ear canal with a small forceps while using a huge surgical lighting system to light everything up. Again they could not get the bug out, it had locked its small pinchers on all 6 legs into the canal of my ear and was as far back as possible and a bit larger than the ear canal and had crawled and wedged itself in completely. All he could get with the tweezers was a samll piece of the backside (the bum). And I was now bleeding a bit from the ear canal. I had a flight to catch back to the states on the following morning and my wife was to book me into a ear nose and throat specialist when I got home. I am sitting here now at my house in florida, it is 8:40 am and my appointment is at 9:30 and the bug has been in my ear now for 54 hours and I am creaped out. I have minor pain and pressure in my ear and want the thing out....

Anonymous said...

thank you for this tip! Saved us a trip to er and huge inconvenience.

Anonymous said...

I can feel it in my ear :((((((((((

Anonymous said...

I was camping & a bug crawled in my ear! I remained calm & I put pressure on the ear w/ my finger to prevent the bug from moving. We were camping at a natural mineral hot springs. After discussing w/ others there, I put my head under water with the "bug ear" side up. I came up for air about 8 times, staying under water as long as possible! Then I lay back & allowed both ears to stay underwater-- just breathing, looking at the stars. The next day I put my ear in the gushing stream of water-- allowing the water to flow in & out as much as possible. After getting all the water out of my ear it seems OK now (almost 3 days have passed).

RogueSeige said...

So last night, morning of 6/12/2013, I was asleep next to my girlfriend. I had been working 7 days a week, and was exhausted. It seemed like it was going to be one of the best nights sleep I'd had in awhile. Until a beetle landed on my ear.. I went to brush it off, and the little monster went into my ear! Now I've experienced a number of different pain in my life. From broken limbs to tooth pain. However, this was a whole new level for me. I got up freaking out, and scared my girlfriend half to death. every time I shook my head or put my finger near my ear it would try to dig in deeper, which would bring me to my knees, I was pouring water into my ear, trying to flush it out. Little did i know is that beetle was not leaving. I understood that it wasn't the beetles fault, and that I scared it to make it go in my ear. But the pain was immense that I even attempted to take tweezers to rip it out. After about 45mins of this I decided to go to the ER. As i was going to the car to be driven to the hospital, the beetle started struggling and brought me to my knees with the pain. The beetle then started moving out and left my ear. I would consider this to be a form of torture.

Anonymous said...

I dont know what was going on. I was walking my dog and all of a sudden something felt like it was crawling on me. Then I heard something like it was in my ear. guess what made that trip to er and they saw nothing. the doctor told me to use warm water to flush the my ear out if the sound happen again

Angel101 said...

Yesterday at work while wearing a headset, I felt this ticklish feeling like something was crawling in my ear. I immediately dropped everything I was doing and started pouring water in my ear. I took a piece of paper towel to see if something came out, and I saw some small bug on the paper towel. So problem solved right, the bug is out...right? Wrong! When I got home from work, my head started hurting! It was this sharp pain that was very irritating. This was more than enough to set me off. I rushed to the bathroom to try and flush it out with olive oil and water, but I don't think that did much. I don't know if the bug is still in there or not, but I'm going to a walk-in clinic tomorrow to see if anything unwelcomed remains in my ear. I used to love bugs as a kid, but that love somehow turned into hatred. This little incident isn't helping either!!!!

Anonymous said...

A roach crawled in my left ear while I was sleep . I tried the vegetable oil and water and I don't feel it moving anymore but I'm not sure if it's out . I don't feel anything anymore

Anonymous said...

I had a bug in my ear, so I took a shower and tried to get rid of it. After 5 min in the shower, I saw a small bug on the floor of the shower. Not sure if it was the bug that was in my ear or a different one. I don't hear anything or feel anything, but do you think it's out?

The Castaneda Crew said...

This little beetle looking bug went to my ear and I freaked out! I was going to try the flush out method, but instead put a light bulb by my ear and it came out. So disgusting...yuck...ill. I hate insects!

Anonymous said...

OMG, I thought I was loosing my freaking mind. Woke up while in California with the feeling that something was crawling around in my ear. I thought I was dreaming at first. Shook around digging at my ear, very painful. Put warm water in my ear while that booger moved around. Did it about three or four times for about 2 minutes each. Didn't see anything come out but no more pain and no more movement.

Anonymous said...

visiting nyc ...... got a huge earwig in my ear. it felt as if i had water in my ear. the second time it happened i cupped my ear and tried to suction it out with my hand. before ya know it this huge thing crawled out! i flushed my ear with warm water just to rinse it out. my ear is still sore. i read online its normal because of the movement inside the ear drum. hydro peroxide is another way to get it out because the solution pushes debris to the surface.

Anonymous said...

This really works I put cooking oil in my ear and the bug poped right out .

Anonymous said...

I really thought I would never be on here but that really works I tried it but I cant get it out I guess I try putting warm water in my ear but I stuck a bobby pin in my ear not deep in my ear but to just see what I could feel I hope I haven't did nothing to me it work I hope this warm water

Anonymous said...

This happened to me today I woke my mom up at 5 in the morning when it happened. I was scared as hell and when she tried to get it out I cried but couldn't get it out. Then the school nurse used tweezers and got it out and I'm too scared to go to sleep without anything in my ears now. I just wear my earbuds now and hope that solves the problem....