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    This undated photo selfie shows Katie Holley. Holley woke up in the early morning hours of April 14, 2018, to feel something crawling in her ear. After trying to extract a cockroach that had lodged in her ear, Holley had to seek medical attention three times before the whole cockroach was removed.

    Roach Motel: Palmetto Bug Crawls Into Woman's Ear, Stays for Nine Days, Dies

    © AP Photo / Katie Holley
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    A cockroach crawled into a Florida woman’s ear while she was sleeping and doctors only managed to get it out completely nine days later.

    Katie Holley and her husband recently moved to a new home in Melbourne, Florida. Although they've been diligently spraying their house with insecticides every three months, it didn't stop a cockroach from deciding to make a visit to Katie's ear — and it stayed there for several days.

    In an essay penned for SELF Magazine this week, Holley explained how one night in April she woke up feeling "a weird movement" in her left ear canal, as if something was burrowing inside.

    She rushed to the bathroom to check what could be wrong. She probed her ear with a cotton swab, and to her horror found two skinny black lines stuck to the tip of the swab when she pulled it out. They turned out to be roach legs.

    ​"I came to the realization that they were legs. LEGS. Legs that could only belong to an adventurous palmetto bug exploring my ear canal," Katie wrote. (A palmetto bug or Florida woods cockroach is a particularly large version of the ubiquitous pest.)

    After her husband was unable to pull the insect out with a pair of tweezers, the couple drove to the ER of a nearby hospital, where a doctor administered a local anesthetic to her ear that would also kill the bug.

    "Feeling a roach in the throes of death, lodged in a very sensitive part of your body, is unlike anything I can adequately explain," Holley wrote.

    The doctor removed what he said was the entire cockroach in three pieces, but nine days later Katie realized the nightmare wasn't over. She was still experiencing pain and therefore went to see her primary care doctor, who discovered that something dark still wedged inside her ear.

    "My physician proceeded to remove the leg and flush my ear again, only to examine it and see even more remnants," Holley wrote. "She ended up pulling out six more pieces of the roach's carcass — nine days after the incident took place."

    The doctor was still not sure the entire bug was removed and sent Holley to an ear, nose and throat specialist, who placed a microscope inside the woman's ear.

    This undated photo photo made available by Katie Holley shows the head of a cockroach.
    © AP Photo / Katie Holley
    This undated photo photo made available by Katie Holley shows the head of a cockroach.

    "He didn't say much, but he did confirm there was still ‘something in there,'" Holley wrote. "Using a tool that looked like very large scissors, he extracted THE ENTIRE HEAD, UPPER TORSO, MORE LIMBS AND AN ANTENNAE," she noted.

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    To Holley's surprise (and our horror), the ENT told her she was the second such case he had seen that day.

    Katie now sleeps with earplugs.


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