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Old 10-26-2004, 09:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sick house flies?

I live in a dorm in upstate NY, and as fall settles on us (with temperatures around 50 degrees) we've noticed something pretty strange in our rooms. There are a lot of house flies, but mostly they're just sitting on the window not moving. If you brush one off they frequently just flip over and sit there, or sometimes they can barely get off their backs at all. When we do hear one it's trying to fly near the bottom of the window barely getting 4 inches off the ground...

It's pretty eerie. Has anyone seen this happen before? Why are our flies such little wimps? (On that note, I lived in the same part of the building last year and never saw them, let alone like this)

Thanks,
John
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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50 is pretty cold for a fly, I'd guess you are just seeing them stationary at the end of their life cycle. Don't most house flies only live about 72 hours?
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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A flies metabolism starts to shut down the colder it gets, until if it gets cold enough it dies. One neat little trick I've heard of is to capture several flies(unharmed) put them in a refrigerator, make a small little plan with a couple of light matchsticks, take the flies out of the fridge, glue them to the top of the wings like their engines, wait for them to warm up again, and watch the ensuing fun as the little buggers fly around like a B-52.
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Indoors, though, it's pretty toasty. And we've been seeing this for a couple weeks now, including a few (relatively) warm days...it seems too consistant for the cold to be killing them, but I guess I don't know that for sure?
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Some flies hibernate. That is probley what is happening.
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Old 10-26-2004, 12:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They're not really comatose or anything, though...Some make halfhearted efforts to get outside through the closed window, they just seem to be pretty bad at it.

It's like if you had a normal fly acting as you usually see them, and then drugged it up a bit and took away it's will to live. THAT'S the kind of flies we have...it's spooky.
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Old 10-26-2004, 02:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds pretty normal to me, I see it every autumn. They go indoors because it's warmer, but they are kind of lazy. The wasps get sluggy like that too. Like Mage said, the metabolism gets slower, maybe not only because of the cold but for the shorter days. Anyways, perfectly normal, just another sign of autumn like orange leaves or migrating birds.
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Old 10-26-2004, 03:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, I see them get stupid every year too. Quite often I'll be lying in my bed trying to sleep, and a damn fly will divebomb my forehead. Scares the crap out of me. So I keep trying to sleem, and the damn thing keeps doing it. I eventually have to get up and kill the buggger, because it won't leave me alone. On the bright side, they're very easy to kill in that state.
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Old 10-26-2004, 04:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe they found someones secret stash, and are infact just really stoned?

I've noticed this type of behaviour in flies before, and i'm stumped if i could offer a plausable explination.
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