Ear Maggots- Woman Has 57 Maggots Removed

Ear Maggots

Imagine an excruciating burning and itching inside your ear. After three days of constant pain and ear tugging, you are shocked to discover a maggot crawling out of your ear; and the worst part… Not being able to tell anybody about it! That’s exactly what happened to 92 year old Catherine McCann of Arlington Heights, Illinois.

57 Maggots Found Living Inside Woman’s Ear

CBS Chicago reports that 92 year old Catherine McCann was living in an Arlington Heights’ nursing home, and was unable to speak because her Alzheimer’s disease. While living in the $10,000 a month nursing home, the elderly woman had a fly crawl into her ear and lay eggs. The result was 57 maggots that hatched inside the woman’s ear canal.

After three days, a nursing home aid grew concerned over Mrs. McCann’s constant tugging of her ear and brought her to the nursing home’s medical director. It wasn’t until then, when the maggots were discovered. Mrs. McCann was sent directly to Northwest Community Hospital.

Removing The Ear Maggots

Doctors removed all 57 maggots from Mrs. McCann’s left ear. The woman’s daughter, Mary McCann Stassen, could barely look at pictures of her poor mother’s ear, and said the worst part was, “hearing her mother scream as they were taking the maggots out.”

“It’s a picture I will never, ever get out of my mind –ever.”

The infestation was documented by doctors at Northwest Community Hospital who made a videotape of the scene before beginning extraction. The tape was so graphic, however, CBS declined to air it.

After the gruesome incident, an exterminator examined the nursing home for flies, but couldn’t find any. Officials believe that the fly must have flown into Mrs. McCann’s ear canal when she was taken out for her daily walk.

Ear Maggot Lawsuit

After the horrific ear maggot incident, Mrs. McCann’s husband is suing the Lutheran Home for the Aged nursing home for negligence and emotional distress. Just nine days prior to the ear maggot infestation, Mrs. McCann had her ears treated for a wax build and was prescribed ear drops to prevent infection.

The family is questioning whether or not she received the medication in her ear after the treatment, because one would think you’d notice the 57 maggots while administering the medicine drops.
The Lutheran Home for the Aged nursing home admits to no wrong doing, stating that the maggots were not big enough for their staff to see them at the time. The nursing home had been very well respected up until the recent incident.

English: Eurobait in England are a maggot bree...


A maggot is the tiny, white, worm-like larva of a fly. They look much like a grain of white rice and feed on rotten or dead organic tissue. Fly eggs are laid directly on a food source and when the eggs hatch, the maggots move towards their preferred conditions and begin to feed.

Flies quickly reproduce during the summer months, and maggots can appear in massive quantities. Often times this creates a maggot infestation, and increases the risk of myiasis. Humans are not immune to the feeding habits of maggots and can also contract myiasis.

Ear Spider

This news about ear maggots comes to us shortly after learning of a spider living in a woman’s ear.

A woman living in China had to have a spider removed from the inside of her ear after experiencing some major ear canal itching and burning. The spider made its way inside her ear canal while she was sleeping and had been living there for approximately five days.

The spider couldn’t be removed with surgical tools, because the attempt would only drive the spider deeper inside the women’s ear and force it to dig its barbs into the ear canal. Instead of manually retracing the embedded spider, a doctor opted to flush it out with saline solution. The procedure was a success, and the women reportedly wept with gratitude after the spider crawled out.

If that incident isn’t a big enough reason for spider control, I don’t know what is!

In Related News: Ear Plug Sales On The Rise

With all of this recent news about maggots, spiders, and other creepy crawlies climbing into our ears, maybe we’ll start to see a sharp increase in the sales of ear plugs.



Anthony Ball is a Content Marketing Manager with Bulwark Exterminating, an industry leader in providing high quality pest control service. Bulwark is fully operational in nine states, including thirteen major cities. While Bulwark provides pest extermination for common pests like ants, roaches, crickets and spiders; the company's differentiating aspect is great personalized service. Bulwark uses the finest and most effective products in the world to solve common pest problems.

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