As It Happens

Warning: This is a story about a cockroach in a guy's ear

A Tallahassee, Fla., man had a cockroach crawl in his ear and get stuck. The bug died in there, but not before it laid an egg.

'I can feel it burrowing deeper and deeper inside,' says Blake Collins-McGee

Blake Collins-McGee says he is never going to live in a cockroach-infested house again. (Submitted by Blake Collins-McGee )
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This story is definitely not for the squeamish. 

For three years, Blake Collins-McGee fought a stubborn roach infestation in his Tallahassee, Fla., home. But he knew the battle was lost a couple weeks ago when the infestation spread to his ear. 

As It Happens host Carol Off spoke to Collins-McGee about the gross experience.

Here's part of their conversation. 

How did this cockroach get into your ear? 

I was asleep in the middle of the night and I felt something crawl all over my face, and I was like "Oh my God, it's another cockroach."

So I swatted the roach off, and I guess when I swatted it, it jumped on my pillow, and then came back on my face.

At that point, when I tried to swat it again, it ran and went straight into my ear. 

Blake and Samuel Collins-McGee had been fighting a cockroach infestation in their apartment for three years (Joel Sartore/Getty Images )

Yikes, like crawled right into the ear passage?

It did, it crawled right in. 

I couldn't get it out, I was panicking, I was shaking my head in panic, I've never had a roach in my ear, I don't know what to do. I can feel it burrowing deeper and deeper inside. 

What did it feel like to have a cockroach in your ear? 

Like someone was shoving a Q-Tip all the way into my head and I couldn't stop it.

I could feel its legs moving, and the vibrations from where its body was trying to get out. It was horrifying. 

Glue traps in Collins-McGee's apartment filled with little roaches. (Submitted by Blake Collins-McGee)

You could actually hear it?

I could hear the legs scratching on my ear canal. It was the stuff of nightmares. It was terrible.

What happened at the hospital, what did the doctors say about it?

I don't think they believed me at first. But, when they looked inside my ear, they were like "OK, yup, there's a roach in your ear. We're going to have to get it out."

They made me lay on my side and they poured this numbing agent called Lidocaine in my ear, that's when I could start feeling it kicking really fast. I heard a squeal.

Blake Collins-McGee and his husband, Samuel, fought the cockroach infestation for three years before finally moving out. (Blake Collins-McGee)

You heard the roach make a squealy sound?

I don't know if it was a squeal. It was like this high-pitched noise from where the roach was dying. I was like, this is horrifying.

It was for sure trying to escape death, and then I felt it stop. I felt, and heard, the roach die inside of my ear. 

What did they do with the dead roach that was now in your ear?

When they went to pull it out, they pulled out the egg that the roach had laid inside of my ear. There was an egg inside of my ear. It's disgusting. It was horrible. 

It was having babies inside of my ear. The shell hadn't broke yet, thank God, because there's up to 40 roaches in each egg, which is devastating. 
This is the cockroach egg pulled from Collins-McGee's ear, which he says could have contained up to forty baby roaches. (Submitted by Blake Collins-McGee)

They pulled the egg out, thank God, but the roach was too far inside of my head. 

I boiled it out using hydrogen-peroxide in my ear, it creates a bubbly, fizzy reaction inside of your ear, and that's how I eventually brought the roach to the surface. I was pulling out roach legs, and wings, and eventually the body came out, so I was pretty ecstatic. 

Are you still living in this roach-infested apartment?

I am not. I threatened to go to the press, and they said "You know what? We're going to let you out of your lease." And I said "That's probably for the best." 
Blake and his husband Samuel Collins-McGee are now happily living in a new apartment, with no cockroaches. (Submitted by Blake Collins-McGee)

Written by Imogen Birchard. Interview produced by Donya Ziaee.