Hendrik Helmer has taken out the unofficial title of having the largest cockroach removed from a human ear in Darwin.
He says dislodging the 2cm giant at Royal Darwin Hospital caused him agonising pain.
The cockroach took about 10 minutes to die after it was removed from his ear.
Mr Helmer, from the Darwin suburb of Karama, said his ordeal began early on Wednesday morning when he was woken up at about 2:30am by a sharp pain in his right ear.
He immediately thought some type of insect may have crawled into it while he slept…He said the pain was intense and despite a few bouts of relief began to get worse.
“I was hoping it was not a poisonous spider … I was hoping it didn’t bite me,” he said.
After trying to suck the insect out with a vacuum cleaner, he tried squirting water from a tap into his ear to flush it out…
“Whatever was in my ear didn’t like it at all,” he said.
As his pain increased, Mr Helmer, who works as a supervisor at a warehouse, roused his flatmate to take him to Royal Darwin Hospital, where he was quickly seen by a doctor.
Mr Helmer said the doctor put oil down the ear canal, which forced the still-unidentified insect to crawl in deeper but eventually it began to die.
“Near the 10 minute mark … somewhere about there, he started to stop burrowing but he was still in the throes of death twitching,” he said.
At that point the doctor put forceps into his ear and pulled out the cockroach…
“She said they had never pulled an insect this large out of someone’s ear,” Mr Helmer said.
Helmer says he’s not changing anything in his lifestyle – or sleepstyle; but, when some of his friends were asked for an opinion, they said they’ve started sleeping with headphones on or earbuds in their ears.