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Cockroach in ear: Can a vacuum rid your ear of a burrowing cockroach? Find out

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A “cockroach in ear” story sounds a bit like a nightmare, no? Let me put a little bug in your ear with this: I remember in Star Trek – Wrath of Khan, when Khan put a Ceti eel into Chekov’s ear, and as the fictional eel went about wrapping itself around Chekov’s cerebral cortex, I recall thinking how much that’s gotta hurt.

Unfortunately, we have a real-life equivalent of the burrowing bug story, sort of. As reported on by NBC News Friday, a two centimeter cockroach crawled into an Australian man’s ear as he slept.

Hendrik Helmer told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he awoke at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday to incredible pain, and realized that a cockroach had made its way into his ear. His first thought was not how to rid his ear of the bug, but a worrisome notion that it might be something far worse than a roach.

"I was hoping it wasn't a poisonous spider. I was hoping it didn't bite me," Helmer said.

Fortunately, it was only a cockroach, not that there are preferable creepy-crawlies that we wouldn’t mind slinking around our orifices as we sleep.

The Aussie man then tried what he thought might do the trick – he plugged in a vacuum and got to work sucking at his ear. But this only angered the bug, which wedged itself in a little deeper.

So Helmer went to the hospital, but the doctors there didn’t use any kind of fancy gadget or techy machine to extract the bug. Instead, the doctor tried an old-fashioned olive oil drowning. The doctor-turned-exterminator poured olive oil into Helmer’s ear canal, drowned the bug, and then was able to pluck out the carcass.

Excuse me as a shudder a bit and wince.

According to NBC, Helmer said his friends were so concerned by his experience that they had started going to bed wearing headphones, Sky News reported.

Good idea.

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