A WOMAN needed hospital treatment on the first day of her Hebridean holiday after a midge lodged deep inside her ear.
Tracy Macinnes was driven mad by a constant fluttering sensation and buzzing in her right ear that went on for hours.
After bizarre DIY attempts to flush the midge out with cooking oil failed, Tracy, 45, sought help from a GP.
The mother-of-four ended up being admitted to the tiny hospital on the island of Barra where staff blasted the beastie out with plain water.
Tracy is originally from Lochgilphead, Argyll, but has lived for years in Corby, Northants. She decided to return “home” for a holiday in the Outer Hebrides but hadn’t reckoned with the midges.
Normally, the pests are satisfied with simply snacking on humans but one, propelled by strong winds, flew deep into her ear.
She said: “It was the first day of our holiday and we were just wandering the rocks to take a few pictures.
“I didn’t notice anything at first but then felt a fluttering and buzz in my ear. It felt like a huge dragonfly was in there.
“I tried to get it out with a cotton bud then my auntie said that olive oil would work. There was none so she ended up squirting cooking oil but that seemed to annoy it and moved it further in.”
She continued: “A couple of hours went by and my aunt and sister-in-law were shining their phone lights in to see if they could see anything.
“We popped to the doctors who told me to go to the hospital. Three nurses took a look with a magnifying glass and flushed it out with water.
“What they flushed out looked like a small, black dot, which they told me was a midge.
“It was a huge relief to me but now we can laugh about it. I’ll be wearing ear muffs from now on.”
Dr Alison Blackwell, Director at APS Biocontrol Ltd and Scotland’s leading midge expert said: “It does sound a bit bizarre.
“I guess folk get midges in and around their ears all the time but haven’t heard of any problems such as this before.”
Tracy shared a photo of her midge induced trauma on Facebook with the caption: “Big high five to the lovely nurses at Barra Hospital for saving me from that big huge midge with the mahoosive wings that was fluttering like a wee maddie in my eardrum.
“Saved my life and sanity. Thank you girls.”
Other users were quick to react to the photo which shows Tracy on the hospital bed as a nurse crouches over her to remove the tiny midge from her ear.
Fiona Cranston said: “Oh how awful for you.”
Whilst Donald Currie joked: “Oh aye Tracy, watch out for the killer midges.”