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Cockroach in ear: Stubborn inch-long cockroach pulled from man's ear

Hendrik Helmer

The “cockroach in ear” news story has many readers touching their ears and wondering, how can a cockroach be pulled from a man’s ear, especially an almost one-inch-long cockroach that proved to be angry and quite stubborn. According to a Jan. 10, 2014, Darwin report, Hendrik Helmer from the Darwin suburb of Karama in Australia tried vacuum out the cockroach, he tried squirting water down his ear to flush out the bugger -- but instead of getting the cockroach out, Hendrik Helmer apparently only “angered the insect.”

As the Darwin newspaper tells the story of the man and the cockroach in his ear, Hendrik Helmer woke up about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning because he felt a sharp pain in his right ear. Even though the Australian man immediately suspected that something had crawled into his ear while he was sleeping, he wasn’t sure what kind of insect he was dealing with.

"Later on, when I stood up and it happened it would sort of hunch me over and drop me down to the ground. I was hoping it wasn't a poisonous spider. I was hoping it didn't bite me. Whatever was in my ear didn't like it at all.”

After Hendrik Helmer unsuccessfully tried to vacuum and flush out the intruder and the pain grew increasingly worse, he had his friend take him to the Royal Darwin Hospital, “where he was quickly ushered through to see a doctor.”

Not knowing what kind of insect was causing the Darwin man’s pain, the doctor poured olive oil down the ear canal in the hopes that the insect would crawl out of the ear into the fresh air. But instead of leaving its confined area, the cockroach crawled even deeper into Hendrik Helmer’s ear.

"Near the 10-minute mark... somewhere about there, he started to stop burrowing but he was still in the throes of death-twitching," said Hendrik Helmer who could feel the insect slowly dying in his ear.

“At that point the doctor put forceps into his ear and pulled out the cockroach, which measured about two centimetres long.”

Two centimeters is about 0.8 inches and after the Australian man finally had the stubborn cockroach pulled from his ear, the hospital reported that “Hendrik Helmer has taken out the unofficial title for having the largest cockroach removed from an ear in Darwin.”

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