DOCTORS in New Orleans have developed a novel technique for removing cockroaches from the ears. To treat a patient with a cockroach in each ear, they first used the traditional method of inserting a few drops of oil and then removing the insect with forceps. It worked but required 'much dexterity', according to the New England Journal of Medicine. For the other ear, they tried spraying in lignocaine, a local anaesthetic. 'The cockroach exited with great speed and attempted to escape across the floor,' says the report. 'A fleet-footed doctor killed the creature using a simple crush method.'