Sometimes there’s just an itch you can’t scratch, or a buzzing or ringing in your ears you just can’t get rid of. After several failed attempts to reduce the irritability with a Q-tip, you still find yourself with plenty of discomfort inside your ears — and with the possibility of a foreign object lodged inside. Foreign objects in ears are a relatively common problem that can cause pain and hearing loss if not treated immediately.

A person often feels the vast majority of items lodged in their ear canal, the small channel that ends at the eardrum, because it is a sensitive area. Sometimes a young child can admit to putting something like a bead or a bean in their ear, or an adult witnesses the act. However, if the act is not seen, a child tends to present symptoms like a purulent discharge, pain, bleeding or hearing loss, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Typically, patients arrive at the emergency room panic-stricken because they believe they hear a foreign body crawling around their ear. Although bugs and inanimate objects in the ears, eyes, nose, or throat appear unusual, anyone is at risk of having a similar accident. Children are more notorious for seeing or having foreign bodies lodged in their orifices, but these cases highlight age is nothing but a number when it comes to an object infestation in the ears.

1. Live Inch-Long Moth And A Tick

A man, only known as “Mikey,” from the U.S. has managed to have both a moth and a tick in his ear canal. The man’s friends extricated both creatures out of his ear canal using a pair of tweezers, with the moth proving more difficult to remove as it fluttered and burrowed itself down further into the ear, the Daily Mail reported. In the video, the over an inch-long brown moth is still alive and flies to the carpet, where one of Mikey’s friends catches it and holds it close to the camera. 

2. Fruit Fly Larvae

An unidentified 48-year-old Taiwanese woman learned the earache she had been suffering from was caused by a fruit fly larva that was living beneath her hearing aid. Upon the removal of the hearing aid, doctors found bloody fluid had accumulated in her ear from the uncommon infestation recorded in the New England Journal of Medicine, Medical Daily reported. “The skin over the floor of the auditory canal, close to the eardrum, was eroded,” wrote Dr. Cheng-Ping Shih from the Tri-Service General Hospital, according to NBC News.  

3. 57 Maggots

A 92-year-old nursing home resident with Alzheimer’s was found with 57 maggots crawling in her ear. The family of the senior citizen, Catherine McCann, was brought into the hospital after the home’s staff noticed she was scratching and tugging at her ear, CBS Chicago reported. A maggot was found crawling out of her ear when she entered the hospital ward.

Her family sued the home for negligence and emotional distress. Doctors believe a fly crawled into her ear and laid eggs, which hatched into nearly 60 maggots. McCann had an enlarged ear canal from surgery performed decades earlier, which gets infected and requires treatment on a regular basis. Doctors videotaped the woman’s infestation before removal surgery. 

4. 3-Inch Live Cricket

An unidentified man thought to be from India was surprised to find his itchy ear discomfort was actually triggered by a 3-inch live cricket buried inside his ear canal, Medical Daily reported. The man was readily able to identify his discomfort due to the sensitivity in the skin in the ear canal and the ear drum. Doctors at the South Zone ENT Research Centre in Viluppuram, Tamil Nadu, India, performed and recorded the stomach-churning procedure, which gives an inside look of the insect twitching in the patient’s ear.

In the video, doctors carefully remove the Indian house cricket with tiny tweezers to pinch the bug and pull it out the ear. The procedure ends as the doctor places the cricket against the man’s ear to show just how big the creature is before it went crawling on a piece of paper.

5. Inch-Long Cockroach

An Australian man was experiencing excruciating pain in his ear fearing a spider had crawled into his ear canal, but his fears didn’t lead his astray — it was actually an inch-long cockroach. Hendrik Helmer tried to remove the pest with a vacuum cleaner before doctors eventually removed the insect using forceps, the BBC reported. "They said they had never pulled an insect this large out of someone's ear," Helmer told Australia's ABC News, as cited by the BBC. The cockroach died after burrowing deeper into Helmer’s ear. 

6. Bed Bug

An unidentified 23-year-old man reported an odd sensation within his right ear. He believed it was blocked and was convinced something was moving in his ear. The 2012 case report published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found a “small black foreign body” in the man’s ear with an otoscope. They believed it “grossly resembled an engorged tiny insect [and] proved to be a Cimex lectularius in its nymphal stage, also known as a bed bug nymph. The bed bug was feeding off the man’s ear drum. The patient’s symptoms were immediately resolved and no further ear complaints were followed.

7. Spider

Most people’s worst nightmare is being in the presence of a spider — and the other may be having a spider crawl into your ears as you sleep. A woman referred to only as Ms. Lee arrived at China's Changsha Central Hospital of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery complaining of an itchy ear, hoping doctors could treat her, RedNet News reported. After Dr. Liu Sheng took a look inside her ear, he found a spider living in the woman’s ear canal. The spider had lived inside her ear for five days.