(TMU) — A Chinese man was suffering from a sharp pain in his ear but, to his horror, he soon found out that this wasn’t just a bad earache—it was a family of cockroaches that was preparing to make his head their new home.
The patient, only identified as 24-year-old “Mr. Lv,” sought the help of doctors at Sanhe Hospital in Huiyang District, which lies in the city of Huizhou in China’s Guangdong Province, last month.
He sought their help after suffering from “sharp pain” in his right year while sleeping, as well as a general “scratching” discomfort that was excruciating.
He eventually asked family members to shine a flashlight into his ear canal, whereupon they found a massive cockroach hiding inside.
Ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Zhong Yijin told AsiaWire:
“He said his ear hurt a lot, like something was scratching or crawling inside. It caused a lot of discomfort.”
Horrifyingly, the man’s ear had become transformed into a nursery for a family of German cockroaches (Blatella germanica). The doctor continued:
“I discovered more than 10 cockroach babies inside. They were already running around.”
Dr. Zhong was able to remove the newly-hatched nymphs from Mr. Lv’s ear one by one using tweezers before he was also able to remove the mother roach.
Fortunately, Mr. Lv only suffered minor injuries to his right ear canal. He was discharged on the same day, and sent off with ointments and creams to treat the minor injuries.
Female cockroaches are capable of carrying anywhere from 20 to 40 eggs, according to Terminix, with an average incubation rate of 28 days. It remains unclear how long the mother cockroach made itself at home in Mr. Lv’s head.
As it turns out, a possible reason why Mr. Lv’s ear canal became an attractive destination point for the mother parasite was the man’s habit of leaving half-eaten and unfinished food next to his bed.
Dr. Jiang Tengxiang, head of the hospital’s ENT department, explained:
“Household hygiene helps to prevent the appearance and spread of cockroaches.
Disinfect drains and sewers. Use mosquito nets and screens on windows.
That’ll stop insects from flying or crawling into your nose and ears.”