A woman in India recently had a live cockroach removed from her skull.
Identified only as Selvi, the 42-year-old woman woke in the middle of the night to a strange sensation inside her head, reports the Daily Mail.
"My immediate reaction after feeling that crawling sensation in the right nostril was to brush it off in half sleep," she explained. "But before I could do anything, it went inside. I could not explain the feeling but I was sure it was some insect. There was a tingling and crawling sensation. Whenever it moved, it gave me a burning sensation in my eyes."
The medical staff at a nearby clinic failed to determine the cause of the problem. But when she went to the state-run Stanley Medical College Hospital the following day, scans revealed a cockroach in her skull.
In a 45-minute procedure, doctors used a combination of clamps and suction to remove the irritating insect.
"This is the first such case I have seen in my three decades of practice," said Dr. M. N. Shankar, head of the ENT department at the hospital. "It was sitting in the skull base, between the two eyes, close to the brain. If left inside, it would have died before long and the patient would have developed infection which would have spread to the brain."
Regarding the procedure, Dr. Shankar said: "It was difficult to remove it because of the place it was sitting in. I had to first drag it to a place from where I could pull it out."
Although nostril invasion by roaches is reportedly rare, ear invasion is another matter. "Emergency room physicians in a big city may remove several cockroaches a week from patients’ ears," explains a representative of Colonial Pest Control, a New England-based firm. However, as the company blog notes, it requires a heavy infestation and a particularly adventurous roach.
"Cockroaches end up in ears because they literally stumble upon them during their wanderings, and being cockroaches who like small, dark spaces, they check it out," says the expert. "Unfortunately, they’re not so good at the concept of backing out. They tend to move farther into the ear, and may eventually get stuck."
Such is reportedly what happened to Selvi, except in her case the point of entry was the nose instead of the ear.