This article is marked as 'retired'. The information here may be out of date, incomplete, and/or incorrect.
If you are terrified or even mildly afraid of spiders this story is not going put you at any ease. You have probably heard before that while we sleep bugs or spiders crawl about and often times we ingest these little buggers without having known it. I was once told that we ingest up to 2 lbs of bugs per year through sleep or perhaps just through the allowable FDA limits of bugs we eat or rodent fecal matter, but that is another story all together.
There have been several accounts documented over the last several years (one account dates over 140 years ago) of bugs, or even worse, spiders climbing into an unsuspecting person’s ear and making a warm home there; in some cases for many days. Perhaps this makes you think of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan… you know the one where Spock and Dr. McCoy do the vulcan make out session? Anyway, on to the details…
Account #1: Greek woman finds spider in ear
A woman went to her doctor complaining of headaches – and was told there was a spider living her ear.
The arachnid had even spun a web in the woman’s ear canal during its brief stay.
The 33-year-old, from Athens, felt a sharp pain in her ear while out riding a motorbike.
She went to her doctor who after a brief examination broke the astonishing news, Dr Evangelos Gollas said: “When I examined the patient, I was surprised to find a spider’s web and then, I saw there was movement.
“The spider found itself in her ear, and because the temperature is ideal there, it stayed.”
Account #2: Moth lives in woman’s ear for 4 days
A woman who complained of hearing a loud buzzing noise was horrified when a nurse removed a moth from inside her ear.
The insect had crawled into Patricia Macleod’s ear as she lay in bed at her home in Bilston, Midlothian.
Mrs Macleod thought she was suffering from tinnitus after a horrendous noise and fluttering feeling developed in her ear which lasted for more than four hours.
But it was only when she was having her ears syringed four days later the shocked nurse found the insect.
Account #3: UK woman terrified after finding spider in her ear
The woman, who’s scared of spiders, went to her doctor after suffering from itching and strange noises in her ear.
The doc examined the woman – and found a spider crawling around inside her.
To make matters worse, the doc was spooked by spiders too. He told the woman to put ice water in her ear, then the scared pair watched it crawl out.
It turned out that the spider had been inside the woman’s ear for more than 12 hours.
Account #4: John Hanning Speke has beetle crawl into ear, results in infection and boils
John Hanning Speke, remembered for tracking down the source of the Nile River, recorded that the interior of his tent “became covered with a host of small black beetles, evidently attracted by the glimmer of the candle.”
Exhausted, Speke went to sleep with them crawling over his person, only to be awakened by one of the “horrid little insects” struggling into his ear. Trying to remove the beetle only pushed it in further. The beetle continued into Speke’s ear as far as possible, and then “he began with exceeding vigour like a rabbit in a hole, to dig violently away at my tympanum. The queer sensation this amusing measure excited in me is past description . . . What to do I knew not.” After trying to flush the critter out with melted butter, Speke tried to dig it out with his penknife, succeeding only in killing it and increasing the damage to his ear. Infection followed, distorting his face and causing boils. “For many months the tumour made me almost deaf, and ate a hole between the ear and the nose, so that when I blew it, my ear whistled so audibly that those who heard it laughed. Six or seven months after this accident happened, bits of the beetle — a leg, a wing, or parts of the body — came away in the wax.”
This apparently is not that common of an occurrence, but does happen from time to time. It is recommended that if a bug crawls about in your ear to fill the ear canal with mineral oil to suffocate the bug or spider and then if it can be easily removed to do so or to have it removed by a doctor. Avoid removing the pest with a penknife.
SkyNews — Spider in woman’s ear
Edinberg Evening News – Moth in woman’s ear for 4 days
BBC News – Spider crawls in woman’s ear
Snopes.com – Bugs in the Ear
BBC Historic Figures — John Hanning Speke
MedicineNet — Objects or insects in the ear