Sometimes, we feel a sensation when an ant moves inside the ear as these insects can reach close to our bodies by climbing the furniture.
Can Ants Get in Your Ear? Ants can get inside the ear when you sleep outdoors, or they fly inside the ear canal directly. These can cause discomfort, irritation, and swelling or redness when they bite on the inner ear. They can survive for a few hours to a day inside the ear canal and ultimately die. Shake your head or tilt it on the affected side and use oil to remove them.
It is essential to deal with an ant in the ear without panic. Find a suitable solution and avoid moving vigorously while removing the insects, as hitting your head against something can result in an undesired situation.
Why do ants get in your ear?
Ants have smaller bodies requiring small space to crawl inside, so these insects can easily enter body orifices like nose, mouth, and ears.
Many people consider that these insects get attracted to earwax, but they are not interested in eating the waxy layer, but this is not true.
You have to face such a problem during camping when you have to sleep close to the ground surface. These nocturnal crawlies usually move on the ground at night while searching for food.
Accordingly, they can reach close to your ear when you enjoy deep sleep at midnight. Moreover, they can accidentally get inside your body when crossing through the pillow.
The presence of food crumbs and stains can attract them to bedding where the chances of getting inside ear increase as they keep moving around or on the pillows.
Additionally, some flying ants can reach directly inside the canal when the children play outdoors or sit comfortably inside the house.
Furthermore, these flying insects can reach indoors and fly inside the ear when they find an orifice or space to move inside without any intention to attack or eat earwax.
How do ants get in your ear?
It is not difficult for ants to get inside the ear because their small size favors undesired entries. They can reach the ear canal by crawling from the pillow or ground and moving deeper into the canal route.
You can feel a noise or an object when they are moving ahead toward the ear drum. This wax can act as a barrier to keep these insects away from damaging sensitive parts.
However, some people are more prone to attacks as they frequently remove this waxy barrier. The absence of a barrier allows insects to move deeper into the ear and reach the cochlea.
So, the insects’ route starts from the ear’s pinnae and ends at the eardrum or cochlea, depending on the thickness of the barrier, as a few lucky people do not bother this waxy layer.
What happens if an ant gets in your ear?
An ant crawling inside the ear feels like an object moving deep inside the organ that can cause discomfort. It gives rise to a tingling sensation and a rushing noise when the insect gets confused.
Quick movements of insects can cause panic when people shake their heads vigorously. The situation can get more complicated when they bite or sting on the soft tissues.
Accordingly, their stings inject toxic poison into the body and give rise to a painful sensation. This pain can last a few minutes to several hours, depending on the species of ants.
It is better to remove the insects immediately as they can scratch an eardrum and cause infection. In addition, it can get ruptured due to continuous interference with antennae and mandibles.
Some people can feel their mandibles when biting on the inner skin tissues and tympanic membrane, leading to itchy or painful sensations.
So, they can be harmful only when they remain inside the canal for a long and move forward to reach the soft tissues and bite. You have to consult a professional in case of severe infections.
What to do if an ant gets in your ear?
You have to be patient after detecting an ant inside the ear, as vigorous movements can make them move deeper, which can cause more pain.
Some people use cotton buds to pick them up and take them out of the ear, but it is not an ideal practice and needs to be avoided. This way, you are pushing insects back into the canal.
One of the best and easiest methods to stop ants from moving deeper into the tissues is to tilt your head. For example, you can tilt the head on that side in which insects are present to dislodge it quickly.
In addition, you can pull an ear on the outer side by holding it from the pinnae, as it can help straighten the canal and decrease the risk of attack. Most probably, it will move out of the ear.
It is better to use alcohol to drown the insects, as a few drops of alcohol can drain them out. However, some oils can also help float out ants when you put a few drops of slightly warm oil.
Baby oils are considered a suitable remedy as they are gentle and good for soft skin. However, a mineral and olive oil can also work well and help get rid of insects when you pour it warm.
It is essential to keep its temperature slightly warm as hot oils can burn the ear canal or causes redness, so it has to be an ideal temperature that you can tolerate.
How long can an ant live in your ear?
It is not challenging for ants to survive in the ear as they do not need large spaces to move and live within narrow tunnels in underground nests.
They can live within an ear for 2 to 3 days if you do not disturb them by probing objects like cotton buds. They do not need a lot of oxygen and can live there.
A few cases were reported when doctors examined the ear of a girl and found ants living in it and reproducing there as eggs were also present.
However, they can die after a few days due to starvation because they cannot find food.
Moreover, the inner ear or cochlea is a complex structure that can cause interference in the movement of ants when they make efforts to reach inside the brain through the auditory canal.
Little black and pharaoh ants can attack an ear in addition to fire ants and sugar ants, as they are common indoor pests that can climb a bed and disturb your sleep.
So, these tiny insects can climb and reach the canal tube, but they cannot survive for more than 24 or 48 hours and ultimately die.