As It Happens

File under nightmare: This man had a cockroach living in his ear for days

Zane Wedding is now in possession of knowledge that no person wants to have. He knows, down to the tiniest detail, what it’s like to have a cockroach live — and die — in your ear canal.

Warning: This story contains an image of a cockroach. Sorry.

Zane Wedding, pictured before he knew it was possible for a cockroach to crawl into his ear and stay in there. (Submitted by Zane Wedding)

Story Transcript

Zane Wedding is now in possession of knowledge that no person wants to have.

He knows, down to the tiniest detail, what it's like to have a cockroach live — and die — in his ear canal.

Wedding, who lives in Auckland, New Zealand, went for a swim recently, and woke up that night with the feeling that his ear was blocked. 

Understandably, he assumed there was water trapped inside the canal. Surely, he reasoned, that explained why whatever was blocking his ear seemed to be in motion. 

"You know sometimes when you've got water in your ear, you can kind of feel it moving around?" Wedding asked As It Happens host Carol Off. 

"I could constantly feel pressure, and the crackling of a kind of movement on my eardrum."

Zane Wedding believed his ear was blocked with water. But as the days went on, he told his partner 'it just doesn't feel right.' He was correct. (Submitted by Zane Wedding)

When the problem persisted, Wedding says he went to a doctor, who flushed out the ear and told him there were dead skin cells built up inside his canal. 

The doctor advised him to blast the ear with a hair dryer, he said. But the more he blew in hot air, Wedding said, the more movement he felt. 

"If anything, it was making it worse. You know, it was making my ear drum more active," he explained. 

She was like 'Oh my God' 

The mystery was solved when Wedding went to a second doctor — an ear specialist this time. 

"Instantly, she was like 'Oh My God.' And I was like, 'What?' And she goes, 'I think you've got a cockroach in your ear,'" he recalled.

Suddenly, it all made sense: the constant feeling of movement, the intense wiggling when the hair dryer was being used. And the sudden cessation of any action the night before his appointment. 

"So that must have been where the cockroach had passed away," said Wedding. 

Using tweezers, the doctor was able to slide the cockroach out, putting an end to his uninvited guest. 

Free at last: the cockroach that lived and died for several days inside Wedding's ear. (Submitted by Zane Wedding)

"The doctor actually said to me 'I'd love to give you some advice to prevent this, but I have no idea what to tell you,'" he said with a laugh.

Wedding left her with the cockroach, went home, and called an exterminator.

"We're actually getting the house fumigated today as we speak," said Wedding.

"Falling asleep on the couch and having a bug climb into your ear is not something anyone wants." 


Written by Kate McGillivray. Interview produced by Niza Lyapa Nondo. 

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