Katie Melua finds spider living in her ear

Katie Melua

Tiny spider, which had found its way in to singer’s ear via headphones and stayed for a week, is removed and set free

The singer Katie Melua has had a spider extracted from her ear after it took up residence for a whole week. Melua revealed her close encounter with the arachnid on her Instagram account, complete with pictures.

The singer said she had been bothered by a rustling sound in her ear and went to the doctor, who used a micro-vacuum cleaner to remove the creature. The 30-year-old Georgian-British singer believes the spider – identified as a member of the Salticidae or jumping spider family – had found its way into a pair of earbud headphones.

“‘Basically I used these old in-ear monitors to block out sound on a flight. A little spider must have been in them and crawled inside my ear and stayed there for the week,” she wrote.

“Though the thing looked TERRIFYING up-close on the doctor’s camera, once he took him out it was pretty small, and now it’s in this little test tube, alive and seemingly fine,” she added, posting a picture of the spider in a plastic container.

A spokeswoman for Melua, best known for hits such as Nine Million Bicycles and The Closest Thing To Crazy, told the Daily Mail: “The ear specialist said he’d never in his career taken out a live bug before. Plenty of dead ones. When it was out it was pretty tiny. Katie kept it in the test tube and released it in her garden when she got home. Apart from shuffling and random noises in her ear, the spider was no bother for the entire week it lived there. She was relieved it was what it was as she was worried she was losing her hearing.”

Melua’s spider incident was relatively minor, but others have not been so lucky. Two years ago, the family of a 92-year-old woman in Illinois with Alzheimer’s disease sued a local nursing home after doctors reportedly discovered 57 maggots living in her left ear. Staff eventually discovered the infestation and sent her to a hospital.

The US National Institutes of Health advises people who think they have an insect in their ear not to reach in, since it may cause the insect to sting or bite. It recommends turning the person’s head with the affected side up to see if the insect crawls out. If that fails, the NIH says, someone should pour mineral, olive or baby oil into the ear while gently pulling the earlobe backward and upward (downward for a child). That should suffocate the insect which hopefully will float out with the oil.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Mark Tran, for The Guardian on Sunday 2nd November 2014 12.21 Europe/London

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