Why Do Bugs Try To Fly in Your Ears?

by Derrick | Last Updated: March 8, 2022

Bugs are everywhere, and for many, they’re annoying and can be pretty scary. You might not like bugs yourself, but you can’t help wondering why these bugs are always buzzing near your ears every time you go out. Are they trying to fly in your ears?

Bugs don’t try to fly in your ears — it just seems that way as you only hear them flying near you when they’re near your ears. They tend to fly near your ears because the odor from your ears and breath may attract them. They’re also attracted to exposed skin due to sweat, salt, or oil. 

Bugs can sense where they might find decomposing matter, and some can be attracted by the smell of your body, breath, or even the CO2 as you exhale. Read on to find out more. 

Bugs Don’t Try To Get Inside Your Ears

While a constant buzzing sound around the ears may cause you to believe that every bug wants to get inside your ears — that’s not the case. Ears are just as attractive to a bug as any other part of your exposed skin since there’s sweat and salt content.

The ear doesn’t get any special attention from bugs — you’re just more likely to notice them when they’re near the ears, thanks to the annoying sound they make.

The ear wax has a protective barrier to keep bugs out — earwax! Its odor naturally repels tiny insects and bugs, and it also works like flypaper to prevent insects and bugs from getting into your ears and eardrum. 

Why Are Bugs Attracted to Humans? 

Bugs, flies, and mosquitos are all equally annoying, and they all seem to be interested in getting up close and personal with humans. What is it that attracts them? 

Bugs are attracted to humans because the skin’s surface has naturally attractive elements like carbohydrates, sugars, proteins, and salts. Anyone is more likely to attract bugs and flies if they have naturally oily skin or uncovered bruises. Bugs target the head and any exposed body part.

The head attracts more bugs than other parts of exposed skin due to your breathing. Many bugs, flies, and mosquitos can navigate an area of interest through the CO2 in your breath or its odor. Besides breath, sweat and tears can also attract bugs due to their moisture and salt content. 

All of this causes bugs to buzz around your face more often. Since you only notice it when you hear them, you’d think they’re trying to fly into your ear! 

Another reason why the head might attract more insects is shampoo. Some insects, such as gnats, love pleasant smells like floral or fruity scents. Most hair and face products such as shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizers smell great — which might invite gnats to pay a visit! 

An easy preventive measure includes using fragrance-free skincare and haircare products. According to experts, they’re better for you anyway!

Can Bugs Get Inside Your Ear?

With all of that buzzing going around your ears, it’s natural to wonder if these bugs could get inside your ear? If so, what would happen? 

Bugs can sometimes get inside your ear. If the bug is small enough, you might not notice it. However, it can result in discomfort, pain, and odd sensations as the bug buzzes and crawls inside the ear. Depending on the type of bug, it can also inflict painful bites.

Bugs can also irritate the cranial nerves of the eardrum, which is dangerous since these nerves are responsible for relaying information to the brain. 

Besides pain, discomfort, and odd sensations inside the ear, the following are some other systems to look out for: 

  • Bleeding
  • Pus coming out of the ear 
  • Loss of hearing
  • A clogged ear feeling
  • Swelling 

How To Prevent Bugs From Getting in Your Ear

When it comes to random risks like a bug crawling into your ear, there’s no way you can avoid it altogether. Remember that bugs don’t actively try to fly inside your ear — they have no interest in being fatally trapped either. 

However, if you happen to fall asleep outside, the sweat, oil inside your ears can attract an uninvited guest to be trapped inside. Thankfully, there are several measures you can take to reduce that risk, including: 

  • Have substantial pest control in and around the house through regular exterminator visits.
  • Keep your home clean to ensure nothing attracts insects.
  • Use insect repellent all over your body and around the ears whenever you’re outside or in your backyard.
  • Use earplugs when you’re in a bug-rich zone (such as camping, sleeping outside, etc.).

How To Safely Remove a Bug Stuck in Your Ear

If a bug somehow gets stuck inside your ear, you should be able to get it out on your own. Home remedies work pretty well in most cases, but you should seek medical help immediately if the bug doesn’t come out or the symptoms persist. 

Whether you’re removing a bug from your ear or someone else’s — the first step is to calm down and relax. Sure, it’s not an ideal solution, but panicking and assuming the worst won’t make it any better. 

Follow these tips to remove a bug from your ear: 

  1. Start by killing the bug if it’s still alive and you hear buzzing sounds or feel it crawling. Pour some vegetable oil inside the ear to suffocate it. Having a bug that’s alive stuck inside the ear can be riskier as it might move around and bite you, causing more pain and discomfort. Bites can also be venomous depending on the type of bug it is. 
  2. Use gravity to pull the bug out for you. For this, you need to tilt your head toward the direction of the affected ear. 
  3. Gently shake the head to help dislodge the bug from its position. 
  4. Try flushing the bug out using warm water. 

Pro Tip: Avoid using any tweezers or Q-tips to get the bug out, as these might push the bug further inside. The risks of injuries and hearing loss increase as the bug gets closer and closer to the eardrum. 

Conclusion

Clothes generally cover every other part of our skin besides the head and hands. You’ll notice flies and bugs buzzing around your head more often, especially since your eyes and ears are nearby to hear that buzzing sound or spot them flying past.

Bugs can also sometimes end up stuck in your ear. When that happens, try to stay calm and follow the tips mentioned above. However, if you have a known history of ear problems like a perforated eardrum, infections, or other hearing issues, try to seek medical help immediately instead of trying remedies at home.

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