Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

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

See also

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.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • 8theist License Plate
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518201598" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Country artist Kevin Sharp dies at 43
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Cocktail
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518202480" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!