A New Zealand triathlete has talked about the excruciating experience of waking up with a cockroach crawling inside her ear.

Sophie Corbidge, Oceania Elite Sprint champion in 2015, has labelled the episode as the "worst experience" of her life.

"I woke up screaming and in excruciating pain," she told Daily Mail Australia.

The 26-year-old told the Australian publication that after several attempts to remove the cockroach, she had to go to Waikato Hospital.

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"I was in a bit of a state. I was in agony every time it moved," Corbidge told the Daily Mail.

Corbidge said her partner and flatmate first tried to use a hairpin and a vacuum cleaner to get the bug out before going to the hospital.

"They next tried to fish it out, then flush it out using a water gun but it was in too deep.

"I got sent home with painkillers and told to come back to the ear specialist.

Corbidge told the Daily Mail that the ear specialist eventually extracted the 3cm long bug using medical tweezers.