We describe a novel thermosensitive escape behavior in Drosophila larvae and a simple assay to accurately define the response temperature. When a larva is placed in a droplet of water that is subsequently heated, a stereotypical escape response is robustly elicited at 29°C. Larvae defective for the painless TRP receptor, or blocked in the function of class IV multi-dendritic sensory dendrites respond to this stimulus at reproducibly higher temperature (34°C). The escape response has novel behavioral components and a lower temperature threshold in comparison with the responses to touch with a hot needle. Furthermore the assay minimizes operator bias that is present in current tests of thermosensitive nociception and generates a precise determination of temperature at the point of response. This response is highly reproducible and directly applicable to genetic and neural circuit analysis of a simple escape behavior.