Woman got cockroach stuck in her ear in her sleep... and it took 9 days to get it out
The 29-year-old managed to pull out a couple of legs using a pair of tweezers, but the intrepid bug had crawled too deep
A Florida woman's account of waking up with a palmetto bug in her ear is turning the stomachs of many readers. Palmetto bug is the informal name for a flying cockroach.
In the early morning hours of April 14, Katie Holley had the most gruesome experience one could have. And her sister-in-law asked her to pen an essay for the Self Magazine, of which she is an editor. Holley proceeded to do the same and wrote in horrifying detail about the entire ordeal that made thousands across the nation wonder in they should sleep with their earplugs on, reported The Orlando Sentinel.
While Holley notably has an extremely positive attitude and a healthy sense of humor, her description of the episode left many in a bout of anxiety. On Thursday, she tweeted to a reporter saying, "Never thought I'd be known for such a ridiculous thing lol."
"I need therapy for a lot of reasons, but this experience blows all of those other reasons out of the water," Holley wrote.
Ever seen a "Palmetto" bug? Florida was teaming with them. We get a few in LA when it's very hot&humid. A VERY few. pic.twitter.com/72xUcok0nu— Edward Garren (@edgarren) August 13, 2015
The 29-year-old has been living in Florida since 1995 while working as a sales and marketing manager for a company in Melbourne. If you're a resident of Florida, you are familiar with palmetto bugs, brown, ubiquitous and growing to an inch-and-half long and sometimes even bigger. Even if you keep your residence spotlessly clean, it is a given that your building has one or more of them.
"When I woke up with this weird feeling, I didn't know what it was. But 30 seconds later, stumbling to the bathroom, I knew," she said. "I knew there was something in my ear."
Holley then proceeded to put a cotton swab in her ear and pulled out two legs, a scene straight out of a gory movie. After that, Holley's husband "located the thickest part of the roach that was visible" but was unsuccessful while trying to extract it.
On her way to the hospital, the cockroach wriggled in her ear. Upon probing into Holley's ear, the doctor decided to pour lidocaine into the cavity.
The insect died instantly and he was able to remove three chunks of the insect - but that was the least of it.
Holley still had lingering discomfort in her ear nine days after her visit, and so she decided to visit her family doctor.
"My physician proceeded to remove the leg and flush my ear again, only to examine it and see even more remnants. She ended up pulling out six more pieces of the roach's carcass — nine days after the incident took place."
"This may be upsetting to many people, but it's a pretty common thing," said Dr. David Wein, chief of emergency medicine at Tampa General Hospital, who added that the hospital gets a dozen or so cases a year.
"There are probably not a lot of preventative things you can do. In Florida, it's really hard, because we all have bugs in our house, no matter how many times you spray."
About a week before the episode, in fact, Holley's husband had hired a bug exterminator to guard the interior of the house.
"I think it's one of those freak things, unfortunately," she said. "It happened to me, so it's probably not going to happen to you."
Entomologist Coby Schal of North Carolina State University told National Geographic, “Roaches are searching for food everywhere. And earwax might be appealing to them.”