Insect flying into child's ear

Contributed by : Ravina Sewani   
Insect flying into child's ear

Apart from insects or flies, babies and young children are known to put small objects in their ears like candy and beans.

When an insect flies into your child’s ear, it is possible that it might die while inside the ear. But it’s also possible that the bug might remain alive and try to burrow its way outside of your ear. This can be painful, irritating, and worrisome. If the insect is alive, the buzzing and movement of the insect is loud and painful. The insect inside the ear causes:

  • Inflammation
  • Irritation
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Discharge from the ear, including blood or pus
  • Damage to the eardrum
  • Hearing loss

Apart from insects or flies, babies and young children are known to put small objects in their ears like candy and beans.


  • If an insect has entered your child’s ear and if it is alive, kill it before you try to remove it. To kill the insect, put a few drops of warm (not hot) baby oil or vegetable oil in the ear. Tilt and gently shake your child’s head to dislodge the bug. Remember to not use this method for anything other than an insect, and don't use it if your child is in pain, the ear is bleeding, or if (s)he has tubes in his ear.
  • Using a cotton swab or other probing object can push the insect farther into the ear and potentially damage the middle ear or eardrum. So, never use those.
  • If the insect is dead, you might be able to remove it by flushing it out of the ear by using water and a syringe.
  • If you are worried that you cannot do this on your own, immediately rush to the nearest doctor or an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist.
  • The doctor will use an otoscope to peer within the ear and determine if it is an insect or not. They may use tweezers to grab the insect and remove it from the ear. Alternatively, they may use gentle suction or flush the ear canal with warm water and a catheter. Children may need to be sedated during this process.
  • Your doctor might also prescribe antibiotics if there’s severe damage done to the ear canal of your child.

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