A 9-year-old boy who complained of an earache was a little surprised when the doctor told him that a pair of spiders had tried to make a home out of him.

"They were walking on my eardrums," said Jesse Courtney.

One of the spiders was still alive after the doctor flushed the fourth-grader's left ear canal.

His mother, Diane Courtney, said her son insisted he kept hearing a faint popping in his ear — "like Rice Krispies" — before the earache sent them to the doctor.

Dr. David Irvine said it looked like the boy had something in his ear when he examined him, but he could not immediately identify it. So he irrigated the ear, and the first spider came out, dead. The other spider took a second dousing before it emerged, still alive. Both were about the size of a pencil eraser.

Irvine said it was a first for him as a physician. "It was the only time I ever pulled out an invertebrate," he said.

Jesse was given the spiders — now both dead — as a souvenir. He has taken them to school and his mother has taken them to work.

"It was real interesting, 'cause, two spiders in my ear — what next?" Jesse said.