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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July, 2003, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Woman's horror at moth in ear
Mrs McLeod
Mrs McLeod was in bed when the noise started
A woman has described her shock at discovering that she had a dead moth stuck in her ear.

Patricia McLeod, 59, was falling asleep in bed when the buzzing noise began.

Mrs McLeod went to her doctor, fearing that she was suffering from tinnitus, a condition which causes "ringing" in the ears and other head noises.

But when a district nurse syringed her ear a few days later, a two-inch long dead moth was washed out.

Mrs McLeod was first hit by an agonising fluttering noise at her home in Bilston, Midlothian. She woke her husband, Graham, who told her to try to get back to sleep.

Four hours later, the pounding finally stopped.

It was really horrible and an unpleasant experience for her
Carol Hunter
Nurse
She recalled: "I was in my bed dozing off and I felt a fluttering in my ear, it was such a shock.

"I jumped out of bed and asked my husband to have a look in my ear but he couldn't see anything.

"It was just a horrible sound, an awful fluttering. I thought I had burst a blood vessel.

"It was a nightmare. I went to the doctor, I was absolutely petrified about what could have happened."

Almond oil

Her GP thought her ear was blocked with wax and she was given almond oil to treat it.

When she returned four days later to have her ear syringed the insect was pulled out.

Mrs McLeod has put up net curtains
Hopefully the net curtains will keep out any more wee beasties
Graham McLeod
Practice nurse Carol Hunter, of the Roslin Surgery, said she had never seen anything like it.

"When we syringed her ear, out of the machine and into the water came a big moth that was about one to two inches long," she said.

"It was really horrible and an unpleasant experience for her. We certainly haven't had anyone in here with insects in their ears before."

Mrs McLeod said she was "horrified" when the insect came out, because she is terrified of creepy crawlies.

She believes the moth flew in through the couple's bedroom window and she has now put up net curtains to discourage any more unwelcome visitors.

'Wax moth'

Her husband Graham, 57, a musician, said: "We just couldn't believe it when we found out it was a moth.

"Hopefully the net curtains will keep out any more wee beasties."

Gordon Spiers, of the Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World, near Dalkeith, Midlothian, said he had never heard of anything like this happening before.

He said: "The only explanation I could possibly think for something like this is if it was a wax moth.

"They have been known to be attracted to honey bee colonies."




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's Raymond Buchanan
"The moth had made its new home in Patricia's ear"




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