A "writhing mass of maggots" was found inside the head of a woman after a fly laid eggs in her ear.

Rochelle Harris began experiencing headaches on the way back from a trip to Peru, but it wasn't until she woke up one night to "scratching sounds" inside her head and "fluid" on her pillow that she decided to see a doctor.

The diagnosis: Flesh-eating maggots.

It seems an aptly named New World screwworm fly had managed to deposit several of its babies inside Ms. Harris, and they quickly chewed their way through her ear canal.

"I was very scared. I wondered if they were in my brain," the 27-year-old told the Discovery Channel.

They very nearly were.

While attempting to extract the larvae nest with olive oil, doctors at Royal Derby Hospital inadvertently pushed the maggots deeper into Harris' head.

Eventually, surgeons were able to remove the pests from inside Harris — a total of eight large maggots were found in a "writhing mass."

Doctors don't anticipate Harris will suffer any long-term effects from the maggots. Peru, on the other hand, might never recover.