This is a story nobody wants to read, and yet must be read. Only the bravest hearts will make it to the bottom of this article unscathed by horror, so a word of warning: leave now if you don't like hearing about roaches crawling up in people's ears.
Blake Collins is a normal man faced with a terrifying problem—his apartment was filled with German cockroaches. Then, one night, the worst came to pass. A roach found its way into his ear and WOULD. NOT. LEAVE.
Collins told the Tallahassee Democrat:
I could hear his legs inside me. It felt like someone was shoving a Q-tip all the way inside my head and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
@IFLScience things one reads and wishes one hadn't— Children of Fire (@Children of Fire)1527858898.0
Collins rushed to the emergency room as fast as he could. Once there, cockroach still in ear, he waited for a doctor to attend him. Finally, once his turn arrived, a physician used a syringe filled with lidocaine to kill the roach. If only that were the end of the story. Sadly, it's my horrible responsibility to report that the roach's death struggle may have been the most scarring aspect of Collins' ordeal.
He described it without holding anything back:
When he poured the lidocaine in, I could feel him go super, super fast, kicking and try to dig its way out, and a faint little squeal and then two minutes later, it just stopped and he died. I heard it die in my head.
@IFLScience https://t.co/H8n0QOY5um— mark🐾 (@mark🐾)1527863976.0
But wait. The nightmare isn't over. Before it died, the doomed roach delivered one last act of survival: it laid an egg case inside Collins' ear canal. German cockroaches lay egg cases called "ootheca," which contain up to 50 baby roach eggs. Miniature Lives: Identifying Insects in Your Home and Garden described what was poised to happen inside this poor man's ear:
To hatch, the baby cockroaches must work as a team. They swallow gulps of air, causing their bodies to inflate like tiny balloons. Their rapidly expanding girth pries apart the walls of their ootheca, allowing them to escape into the outside world.
honestly i’m more scared of the possibility of a cockroach crawling into my ear https://t.co/S8kuQOcdHp— princess nneka (@princess nneka)1527800589.0
Fortunately, with a phsyician on-hand, the egg sac was removed and Collins was able to return to his roach-infested apartment relatively unscathed (not counting the emotional scars he'll carry for the rest of his life). He blames the manager of his apartment complex for letting his pest situation get so out of hand:
The fact that she let the roach problem go on was neglect and I have suffered a personal injury.
To the woman on the train who just kicked my fracture boot really hard and failed to aplogise ..... I HOPE YOU GET… https://t.co/fYJ3ayI1Cc— Alison Donnelly (@Alison Donnelly)1527864972.0
If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, experts say you can attempt to float the creature out with baby oil or olive oil, but a trip to the doctor might be the easiest, most full-proof solution. That is, if your heart doesn't immediately give out.