Doctor Pulls Brown Recluse From a Woman's Ear

Spider moved in but didn't bite
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2019 12:15 PM CDT
Doctor Pulls Brown Recluse From a Woman's Ear
A brown recluse spider crawls in a dish at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

That swishing sound in Susie Torres' ear sounded like water. Maybe it was caused by a recent allergy shot, she thought. The slight pain didn't let up, so she decided to have her ear examined after work. A medical assistant had one look and went for help, KSHB reports. As she left the room, she said, per People, "I think you have an insect in there." Two nurses, three medical students, and a doctor arrived, per CNN. It took the doctor several tries, but the troublemaker was removed from Torres' ear: It was a brown recluse spider, whose bites carry a venomous fluid. "The nurses said it was dead," the Kansas City woman said later, "but they might've just said that so I wouldn't freak out."

The spider came out in one piece, and it hadn't bitten her. The brown recluse usually stays outdoors, the CDC says, but can also be found in dark closets, shoes, and attics. A bite usually only happens if it's trapped against a person's skin. A bite can cause a severe lesion, which needs medical attention. Torres was calm during the episode, but conceded, "I'm pretty terrified of spiders." She's taking no chances now, especially at bedtime. "I went and put some cotton balls in my ear last night," Torres said. (A woman in Tennessee was bitten repeatedly.)

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