How to Remove Insects From the Ear Canal, Healthfully

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How to Remove Insects From the Ear Canal

How to Remove Insects From the Ear Canal. There may be a situation in which you find yourself or someone else with an earache or ear problem as a result of an insect crawling or flying into the ear canal. It rarely happens-but if it does-this article will offer some tips to help you remove this irritating, painful, «creepy» problem.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Take a mini flashlight and shine it into the affected ear. The light ray may attract some insects to move toward it. However, there are certain species of bugs that will do the opposite and move away from the light source. If you feel the pain getting worse, immediately shut off the flashlight.

Another method to remove the bug is to position your head so that the affected ear is facing upwards. The natural light at the ear opening might attract the insect to toward it and to crawl out of the ear canal.

Use a tablespoon of baby oil or mineral oil at room temperature, and slowly pour into the affected ear canal to drown the bug. Turn the head where the affected ear is in a down position to allow the oil, and hopefully the bug, to drain out of the canal together.

Cleanse the ear canal out with warm water after you have extracted the bug from the ear. If there is any sign of bleeding or blood as you clean the affected ear canal, squeeze some antiseptic ointment onto a cotton swab and carefully wipe the affected area to reduce any risk of an ear infection. It is advisable to see your doctor for a thorough ear inspection to ensure that the canal has no lesions or irritations, in order to decrease the risks of infection.

The most common situations in which an insect can enter the ear are: sleeping outdoors in the grass or when camping at night and swimming in the ocean or in an unclean pool. Wear ear plugs when swimming or ear muffs when camping outdoors.


Do not attempt to use a pair of tweezers or ear swab to extract the insect, as this might cause the insect to crawl deeper into the ear resulting in further pain and complications. This article is not a substitute for seeking medical attention from your own medical doctor or healthcare professional.

How to Remove Insects From the Ear Canal. However, there are certain species of bugs that will do the opposite and move away from the light source. Turn the head where the affected ear is in a down position to allow the oil, and hopefully the bug, to drain out of the canal together.

How to Remove Insect From Ear: First Aid

  • There are times when bugs would crawl into our ears and it cannot be avoided. If this happens to you or to someone you know, don’t panic! Instead of freaking out, what you need to do is stay calm and figure out what to do next. In this article we will talk about how you can safely remove an insect from your ear with simple steps. In case you find yourself in this situation, you might just find these steps helpful so go ahead and read what it is all about.

    Steps to Take

    First of all, keep calm. Panicking will not do any good and might just make the situation worse. If someone you know has insect in their ear or perhaps it is your child, make sure to remind them to stay calm. Reassurance is always a good thing and as the person who can help in the situation, you should also remain calm as you are about to remove the insect.

    Next place the person in a comfortable position. Let them lean over or life on a flat surface with the ear that’s affected facing upwards and towards you.

    With the use of oil (it could be baby oil, olive oil etc.) pour a few drops gently on the affected ear to prevent the insect from moving. If in case you cannot find any oil around, use clean water. This can also help. You can use a wet cotton ball with alcohol as well. By squeezing it and dropping the alcohol go through the ear. However this may be painful so make sure that you can do this as gentle as you can. The smell of alcohol will force the insect to come out but if you don’t want to do this you can try something else.

    Another good option to take is by flushing the ear with warm water. With the help of a syringe (no needle) you can flush out the insect inside the ear by flushing it out with water. Make sure to do this as gentle as you can and make sure to watch out for the insect as you are flushing the ear.

    If in case the insect is not removed after all attempts of getting it out, have it checked by the doctor immediately. This way you are sure that there are no damaged done to the ears. This will also tell you how far the insect has invaded the ear.

    Additional information

    When removing an insect from the ear, do not use cotton swabs, hair clips or tweezers. This will only push the insect deeper in the ear canal and might cause damage to the eardrum. This can also lead to permanent hearing loss, so make sure to avoid these. Make sure to seek immediate medical attention if all your attempts to remove the insect fail. This way you can be sure that no further damage is done.

    As much as we take care of our ears, it cannot be avoided that insects may sometimes crawl in. After all, it is an opening. However if this happens, just make sure to remember these steps. If in case nothing happens then you know which step to take next.

    Insect Removal from the Ear or Nose

    If you are experiencing symptoms as a result of insect in ear or nose, contact an ear nose and throat doctor from The Hearing Doctors (ENT Associates of South Florida) in Fort Lauderdale. They can help you remove the bug from your ear or nose and give you the guidance you need to stop the bug from causing permanent damage. Contact them to learn more about their services.

    See also:  7 Tips - Tricks To Get Rid Of Mealybugs On Indoor Plants

    Have You Found an Insect in Ear or Nose?

    As rare as the occurrence may be, this is a real possibility and it is important to be prepared in order to prevent the worst from happening. An insect in your ear is usually harmless but it can have serious ramifications if it is not taken care of properly. There are a few methods to removing a bug your ear, but the main thing to concern yourself with is to make sure that it is safe.

    The first thing to consider is whether or not the bug is still alive when it ends up in your ear. If the bug dies after entering your ear then you are likely going to be able to remove it more easily without having to worry about damage. However, if the bug is still alive after it enters your ear then you are going to have to use some baby oil to drown it before you can effectively remove it.

    After the bug has died, you can then flush out the insect with some warm water and a syringe. This is because using a Q-tip or probe method may accidentally drive the insect further into the ear.

    Similarly, with your nose, you have to be very careful to flush it out after it has died. With your nose, however, it may be easier to blow your nose and get the insect out that way. Simply cover the unaffected nostril and blow to create more force in the affected nostril.

    What Can Happen?

    If you do not take the time to remove the insect, you may be subject to serious repercussions. If the bug is found in your ear and you do not take the time to remove it, you could end up with a scratched or ruptured eardrum as the bug struggles to get out. This could lead to bleeding and hearing problems. That is why it is important for you to get it removed as quickly as possible.

    With bugs that get stuck in your nose, you could experience trouble breathing as well as bleeding and damage done your nostril. The symptoms can worsen over time if the bug remains. Because it can be harder to remove an insect from a nostril than from an ear, it may be necessary to go to an ear nose and throat doctor in order to have it removed.

    Contact Us

    If you are suffering from having an insect in ear or nose, contact The Hearing Doctors (ENT Associates of South Florida) in Fort Lauderdale to learn more about how an ear nose and throat doctor could help you.

    How to Remove an Insect From Your Ear

    CrisSp is your Emergency Specialist at 37 thousand feet. Domestic Diva depending on the mood. Surely, WonderWoman consumed by wanderlust!

    Summer is here and the bugs are out. Get ready to play outdoors! Insect repellents are now in demand. Hopefully, you use one that is all-natural.

    You’re outside, minding your own business, when suddenly you hear a loud buzzing sound. To your horror, you realize that the noise is actually coming from inside your own ears.

    Yes, this can actually happen. Having a live insect in your ear can be very disturbing, not to mention annoying. Small insects, like moths, beetles, gnats, and other small winged critters, can accidentally enter our ears; however, once they are there, they cannot fly or crawl out anymore. They’re stuck. They will try to fly their way out, and their movements inside our ears can be very uncomfortable, painful, itchy, and scary. In some cases, in may even lead to an infection.

    Structure of the Outer and Inner Ear Canal

    Never Probe the Ear Canal With a Tool


    Never try to remove an insect with any kind of tool, including:

    • cotton swabs (Q-tips)
    • tweezers
    • hair clips or bobby pins

    This can make the situation much worse. It can lodge the insect deeper into your ear canal and may damage your eardrum, potentially causing permanent hearing loss.

    It is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

    However, you can also get rid of it immediately by the following techniques.

    Step 1 — Keep Calm

    How to Remove an Insect From Your Ear

    1. Keep Calm — If it is your child or someone else, ask them to stay calm and give him or her re-assurance. Don’t panic.
    2. Put the person in a comfortable position – Lean over or lie on a flat surface with the affected ear facing upward.
    3. Get some oil (baby oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, mineral oil) – Stay still and pour in oil gently through the affected ear. This will stop the insect from moving around inside the ear and the insect will eventually die. NOTE: If any of this oil is not readily available, you may use clean water, but make sure to slowly pour it through.
    4. Optional step — Wet a cotton ball with alcohol. Squeeze it and let droplets of alcohol go through the ear. Be careful, this may sting and can be painful. The alcohol will evaporate but the smell will pressure the insect to come out. This will also disinfect the ear. If you can’t do this, proceed to number 5.
    5. Flush the ear with warm water – Use a syringe (without the needle) if one is available to swish it out. Otherwise, a measuring cup with a small spout will be good enough. Let the water slowly overflow and watch for the insect to be flushed out.
    6. Follow Up – Make a follow-up appointment with your doctor after this removal technique to ensure that you did not damage the inside of the ear during the course of removal.

    Important Warning – As advised by the Mayo Clinic, DO NOT use this method if:

    • For a child if ear tubes are in place.
    • If you think the eardrum may be perforated (signs of this are pain, bleeding or discharge from the ear).

    Summing Up

    This is the basic game plan:

    1. Kill the insect by drowning it. The emergency is over once the insect is dead.
    2. See your doctor as soon as possible.

    Important Notes:

    • This process usually works. However, if for some reasons the insect decides to stick around and won’t come out, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
    • When the insect comes out, carefully check it for some missing parts, like the head, legs, etc. If you notice any missing parts, again seek medical attention as soon as possible.

    Test Your Knowledge -1

    Test your knowledge-2

    Bonus Ear Fact

    Did you know that earwax in small amounts could actually be useful for you?

    It serves as natural cleanser as it moves out of the ear. It protects the skin of the ear canal and helps in the lubrication. Tests have also shown that it provides protection from bacteria, fungi, insects, and water.


    The author is NOT a medical practitioner. However, she is certified in first aid and holds a degree in medical science. This information is only intended for first aid purposes. Reader’s discretion is advised in using the techniques.

    This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

    Questions & Answers


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    6 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Thank you. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen to you.


    7 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

    Such a useful article.. never knew these techniques before thank you so much for this srticle


    Hi can u help me I’m 11 yrs old a bug stuck in my ear what should I do?

    Margaret Bennan

    My friend last week got a fly in her ear. it was buzzing like mad but she managed to kill it. but it dident come out. what should she do. will it work its way out.


    Thanks for your suggestions.. i hope it will help me take insects away

    Digz B Kalita

    I am really very thankful for such a great information.

    Shaukat iqbal

    Thanks for nice tips

    N. Maseko

    Thank you sooooo much the tips you gave, very easy to understand. Thanks once more


    My son has put a piece of eraser in my wife’s ear. She is in pain. But I can’t see any piece of eraser in side. What could be the reason of pain and swelling. How to treat it at home.

    justine jeric f abueva

    thank you very very much,im gonna proceed now to a doctor,beacause an insect in my ear won’t come out,thank you for this article it is helpful.thank you very very very very much!


    Thank you very much.i removed an ant in my ear using this tips. Now I’m safe thank you.


    How do you stop tiny — smaller than a pin end — insects from getting into your ears at night


    It happend to me just now, unfortunately im alone in the house its hard to put oil inside the ears.. as of the moment the insect is still in my ears, i can hear the wings flipping,


    4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Parul Srivastava

    4 years ago from Lucknow,India

    Great first aid information!


    4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Nick: This first aid trick should help you. However, I still suggest that you go see your doctor even if you think the bug is out of your ears. Keep well.


    4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    lanz: Glad to hear about your son and happy that you find this hub useful. Keep well.


    Very helpful tip. My son feels better when i put small amount of oil inside his ear. Thanks.


    5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    wendy: I hope the bug is out of your ears and that you’re feeling better now.


    Just happened to me in my sleep and am terrified right now, felt it walking up my ear then I used d water without thinking twice. Dont know it’s status right now.


    5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Oscarlites: It could be annoying and scary and that is why it’s important to know what to do in case it happens. Thank you for reading and commenting. Glad that those uninvited foreigners in your ears are gone and hopefully will not come back anymore. 🙂

    Oscar Jones

    5 years ago from Monroeville, Alabama

    good article. I know a few bugs have invaded my ear canals. I’m glad they aren’t there now though!


    5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    The Examiner: Thank you for reading and I’m glad you find this useful. Like you, I don’t use any chemical sprays in the house considering my allergy and lung sensitivity. Sometimes, the primitive way works best. 🙂 Appreciate the vote and all.

    The Examiner-1

    That was very useful since I have gnats/fruit flies, spiders, and various other small bugs in this house — because I do not use chemical killers. I agree with what you said about drowning the bugs. I voted it up and U/I.


    5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    feonna: Yes, you can but I would suggest using oil instead of water for your child. Slowly pour some oil and wait few minutes then tilt her head on the other side. The idea is to drown the bug. Whatever is bugging her will die and will come out. Don’t use cotton buds to avoid pushing whatever is in the child’s ear. Hope she feels better and thank you for stopping by.


    My 1yr old child been touching her ear and been crying for 10sec then just stopped crying, i thought she had smething in her ears. can i still do the procedure even if im not sure if something is really there?


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Efficient Admin: Hello and thank you. I do hope nothing like this happens to you cause it absolutely hurts and it could be scary too. And yeah, save those earwax. They’re there to protect you. Lol!

    Michelle Dee

    6 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Very interesting! I have never heard of insects getting stuck in an ear but now I know what to do if it ever happens to me or someone else. I have a whole lot of earwax in my ears so hopefully that will keep them out LOL!


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    grand old lady: Great to see you here. Thank you for reading, it’s never too late. keep the first aid in mind and be well. 🙂

    Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

    6 years ago from Philippines

    As a child I used to feel like a bug was crawling in my ear. Wish I read this article then.


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Hello David! Thank you for your readership and leaving a comment. I’m sorry for your «crawling insect» experience. However, I am pleased that the water solution has worked great for you. It’s actually proven effective. Keep well now.

    David olaoye

    The water solution worked miraculously! A crawling insect like centipede crwaled into my left ear while aspleep. It was a very bad experience! gripped with fear! I searched for it on the net and I found water solution. It scarily flushed out. I was scared of the kind of long insect that came out of my left ear. Thanks for the information.


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    LongTimeMother: Thank you.


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    jainismus: It’s been a while and happy to see you back here. Thank you for coming by.


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Thank you Denise. Glad you found it useful. I sincerely appreciate the votes and the share. Cheers!


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Hey there Sunshine! Very nice to see you here and don’t panic. Trust me, the bugs are rather in panic mode than you are and would struggle to get out. So, calm down. 🙂 Natural product is always a great choice. Gotta try that Avon Skin So Soft. Thank you for reading and commenting.


    6 years ago from Australia

    Very interesting. Voted up. 🙂

    Mahaveer Sanglikar

    6 years ago from Pune, India

    Very useful Hub, thank you for sharing this information.

    Denise Handlon

    6 years ago from North Carolina

    What a very useful hub, and very interesting. I really found it helpful to visualize what tools NOT to use. for sure I would have grabbed those tweezers, but it makes sense about pushing it further down. Thanks for the helpful information here. 🙂 UP/U/I and shared.

    See also:  Do Stink Bugs Fly, Terminix

    Linda Bilyeu

    6 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Oh my, I’d panic! I would not want a bug buzzing around in my ear. Thank you for the advice on what to do! I do use all natural products. Avon Skin So Soft, works great to keep those critters away! 🙂


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    dreamseeker2: Thank you. Glad you found it useful. Appreciate the vote.


    Found your hub interesting and useful. Good to know! : ) Voted it up and accordingly!!


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    aviannovice: I thought it’s great to write some evergreen here once in a while and I’m glad about the positive feedback from readers like you. The oil sure did the trick on you and hopefully, it won’t happen again. Thank you for coming by. Always good to see you. Take care now and say hello to our feathered friends in the sky. *smile*


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    janetwrites: Thank you. Glad you find it useful. Summer is here and the bugs are out and about partying with us and playing with the kids. So, take care.


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    KoraleeP: Bug in your eye? Woah, that sounds «eek» as well. Glad to know nothing serious happened to you and that you’re here reading and hubbing. Thank you. Have a great summer away from the bugs now. *smile*


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    vkwok: No, you don’t but thank you for coming by. 🙂


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Alphadogg16: Thank you. I hope not but it’s always good to know, eh? Enjoy your summer away from the bugs now.


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Ruchira, please include me in your prayer. *smile* Good to see you here. Thank you for reading.


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Barbara: My pleasure to share and yes, I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone of us (kids specially). Take care and thank you for stopping by.

    Deb Hirt

    6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

    I recall something like this happening when I was a child. I believe my mother used warm oil, and it sure did the trick. This is excellent material to know, because like you said, it can cause infection and is very uncomfortable. Good work.

    Janet Giessl

    6 years ago from Georgia country

    Fortunately, I have never had a bug in my ear. But this is very useful in case this may happen sometime. Thank you for sharing this useful information.

    Koralee Phillips

    6 years ago from Vancouver British Columbia Canada

    Great information. Thanks CriSp for sharing this. I hope I never have to use these tips lol, but I’m really glad to know what to do. I had a bug in my eye once when I was a kid and it freaked me out horribly. It was the thought that bugged me the most (no pun intended). Now that it’s almost summer I think is a great time to share your suggestions!

    Victor W. Kwok

    6 years ago from Hawaii

    Wouldn’t want creepy crawlies in my ears.


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    bravewarrior (Shauna), I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be that accommodating for them. Lol! Thanks for dropping by. Happy to see you here. Now, beware of the bugs! *smile*


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    livingsta: You’re welcome and thank you for stopping by, for the votes and for the share. See you around HP.

    Kevin W

    6 years ago from Texas

    Very interesting and informative hub, hopefully I never need to use this information.


    6 years ago from United States

    I pray it does not happen ever.

    interesting hub indeed, Crisp

    Barbara Badder

    6 years ago from USA

    I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone here, but it is nice to have the knowledge I need if it does. Thanks for sharing.

    Shauna L Bowling

    6 years ago from Central Florida

    Great tip, Cris. I’ll remember it if a bug ever decides to move into my ears.


    6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Great tips. Insects in the ear can be very annoying and these can cause severe pain sometimes. Thank you for sharing these tips with us. Voted up and sharing!


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    DemiT: Lol! No one wants those uninvited guests but it’s nice to be ready when they come crashing in specially in the cave of our ears. You have a great summer down Greece away from the bugs! Thank you.


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Hi Faith! I know how it feels (shiver) but things could happen and it’s best to be prepared. Summer time is here, the bugs are out partying with us. Know what to do! Thank you for your time reading this and for your generous votes and very kind gesture to share. Take care.

    Love from the sky


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    theluckywriter: I hope not but it’s always good to know, eh? Lol! I can imagine you covering your ears with your hands as you read this. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by. Bust those bugs and enjoy your summer!


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Ericdierker: Thank you and you’re welcome. You know the trick. drown those creepies. Swim! (:


    6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Hi bill! No, you don’t want that to happen to you. It’s kind of scary. take care and as always, thank you for always being there. All is well.

    Love from the sky


    Thank you for the info, although i definitely don’t want any insect in my ear!! thanks for sharing!!

    Faith Reaper

    6 years ago from southern USA

    Just the thought of such makes me shiver. Thanks for the great tip here. I hope it never happens to me!

    Voted up ++ and sharing

    God bless, Faith Reaper


    6 years ago from Canada

    Oh no. This is so horrifying. I have a sudden urge to throw my hands over my ears.

    Thanks for sharing this very important info. that I hope I will NEVER have to use! Ha!

    Eric Dierker

    6 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Where bugs do this is near great waters. In arid climates the issue can be solved easier with a nose bulb because nothing gets sticky.

    In the ocean or deep rivers we just make them so swimming, head under for as long as it takes.

    this article was way cool and taught mucho. Thanks much.

    Bill Holland

    6 years ago from Olympia, WA

    How interesting. I have never had this happen to me, thank goodness. Great tips here Cris.

    I hope you are well. Sending you hugs from Olympia.

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