Getty Images, photo by Time Life Pictures

Rochelle Harris had visited South America, specifically Peru, with her boyfriend, and when she returned home to England some strange things seemed to be happening to her. She developed sharp pains on one side of her face and she began to hear scratching noises in her head. When she woke up one morning and found blood on her pillow, it was off to the hospital.

Doctors in the emergency room thought it may have been an inner ear infection so she was sent an ear, nose and throat expert who found a small hole in her ear canal and discovered maggots. The maggots chewed a 12 centimeter hole in her ear canal but a brain scan showed no other damage.

They tried to drown them with olive oil but with no luck, doctors where able to remove two of the maggots but discovered they had laid eggs in her ear; luckily they have been removed too.

How did they get in her ear? She remembers walking through a swarm of flies in Peru, shooing them away and thinking nothing more of it, but that is probably where the maggots got in her ear. No long term damage is expected and her story will be on a segment of Bugs, Bites and Parasites on the Discovery Channel.

The scientific name for the maggots: The New World screwworm fly.