General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

How long can a fly survive in the refrigerator?

Asked by elbanditoroso (30573points) July 24th, 2017

I was taking out some cheese for lunch, and one of those green bottle flies flew right into the fridge. He didn’t make it out of there by the time the door shut.

Will he survive in the fridge (assuming I don’t open it for 4–5 hours)? Or will he chill to death?

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11 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

He’s likely to survive longer than you do if you’re still eating that cheese after keeping it 4–5 hours out of the refrigerator…

But seriously, I don’t think it’s likely that he will chill “to death”. He (assuming gender, here) will become torpid and slow (unless those words are already synonyms, in which case you can toss one), but he should survive indefinitely.

I’ve never cared enough to study it at great depth, but insects seem to overwinter pretty well in chilly Northern latitudes. I don’t believe that they migrate (as a rule; I know there are exceptions) from warmer Southern climes. So “seasonal” deep cold doesn’t seem to kill them. I doubt that your fridge will, either.

Zaku's avatar

It’ll slow down but not be killed. That species lives 2–3 weeks. They also lay eggs at some point – best not in your fridge.

BTW, childhood experiments with freezing ants suggests some insects can survive full freezing, and thawing, although there are some losses.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think they can.

Coloma's avatar

Quite awhile most likely. Maybe you should build it a little cheese house and put a blanket in it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When we had the land we went out in January, after a flood. It had gone below freezing over night. An often dry stream, which runs off from the pond, had run, and flooded the grass around the stream.
We went around rescuing little baby fishes, cat fish, bass, you name it, who were still alive and still wiggling under the ice in the grass.
We restocked our pond with dozens and dozens of those baby fishes.

elbanditoroso's avatar

3.5 hours after original post

He’s dead. On the top shelf of the fridge.

Empirical evidence.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Did you set him out on the counter at room temperature and wait??

CWOTUS's avatar

Did you perform an autopsy to determine the actual cause of death?

flutherother's avatar

One fell into my deep freeze. After an hour it had become a grey crystal. I picked it up to wonder at this rare and beautiful object but dropped it and it shattered into a thousand tiny pieces.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@CWOTUS . It would be a “necropsy.”

To the question. Flies lose their ability to fly quickly in lower temperatures. Then they slowly succumb to hypothermia….

Dutchess_III's avatar

There is a species of frog that gets frozen solid every year, but comes back to life in the spring.

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