Woman Thought She Had Water in Her Ear — Turns Out It Was a Venomous Brown Recluse Spider

Luckily, Susie Torres wasn't bitten by the arachnid

Spider in woman ear
Photo: KSHB/ Susie Torres

For being “terrified” of spiders, one Missouri woman kept impressively calm after she found out she had one in her ear.

Kansas City resident Susie Torres said she woke up one day this week thinking that she had water in her ear, describing a “swooshing” sound in her ear, CNN reported on Friday.

“I woke up Tuesday morning hearing a bunch of swooshing and water in my left ear,” Torres told the outlet. But it turns out the noises weren’t from her ear being plugged with water — it was from a brown recluse spider that had crawled into her ear canal.

The discovery seemed to shock the medical staff, as Torres told 41 Action News that the medical assistant who first saw her had to call in some back up.

“She ran out and said I’m going to get a couple more people,” Torres told the outlet. “She then said, ‘I think you have an insect in there.'”

Torres admitted that the instruments doctors brought out to extract the insect started to make her “panic,” especially after the doctor tried flushing her ear out with water and that didn’t work.

But after several attempts, the spider was finally taken out.

“The nurses said it was dead, but they might’ve just said that so I wouldn’t freak out,” Torres said. “I just didn’t think it was possible for them to come inside the ear. Who would’ve thought?”

Luckily, Torres survived the encounter without any bites from the spider, which are also known as violin spiders because of their markings. Though the arachnids are highly venomous, the Center for Disease Control says that the brown recluse need counter pressure in order to bite humans, “for example, through unintentional contact that traps the spider against the skin.”

“Bites may cause a stinging sensation with localized pain,” the CDC says. “A small white blister usually develops at the site of the bite. The venom of a brown recluse can cause a severe lesion by destroying skin tissue (skin necrosis). This skin lesion will require professional medical attention.”

The discovery is certainly a strange one, and Torres told 41 Action News that she plans to prevent any more creepy crawlies from entering her body in the future.

“I went and put some cotton balls in my ear last night, because I did not have any ear plugs,” she said.

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