The Best Way to Get Rid of an Insect in the Eye

Insects have a way of flying into places they don't belong, including the human eye. Visor helmets and glasses may protect your eyes when you're riding a motorcycle or bicycle, but bugs can land in your eyes when you're just walking along the street. Your first instinct may be to tightly squeeze your eye closed and then rub it, but the best thing you can do is to gently close your eye and refrain from touching it until you can remove the insect with clean hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap

  • Drinking glass

  • Saline

Step 1

Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds.


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Step 2

Fill a small drinking glass with water.

Step 3

Rest the rim of the glass on the bone located at the base of your eye socket.

Step 4

Pour the water into your eye to flush out the insect. You can also flush out the insect with an eye dropper filled with water or saline.


Have someone locate the insect in your eye if your first attempt to flush it out failed. Look up and side to side. If the insect is beneath your lower eyelid, pull down and look up. If the insect is lodged under your upper eyelid, place a cotton swab on top of the upper lid and flip your eyelid over the swab. Flush out the insect with water, or lightly touch the insect with a second cotton swab to remove it.


Don't rub your eye, as you may lodge the insect further and irritate your eye. See a doctor if you cannot remove the insect on your own or with help. Cover your eye with a paper cup or eye shield until your appointment.


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Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.