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Free Things To Do in Phoenix Now!

Who says that you have to shell out a lot of cash to have a great time by yourself or with the family this weekend? Arizona is a naturally beautiful state so there is always something to do outside but many people don’t realize how many free activities are offered in the metro Phoenix area in the vein of arts, music and entertainment. Here is a great list from the Phoenix New Times on thirty free things to do right now in Metro Phoenix.

Low on funds and high on FOMO? We can help with that. Phoenix is chock-full of free events worth freeing your schedule for, including movie screenings, open mics, and a good deal of art walks. Because saving money is always in season, here 30 free things you can do all year round.

Take in Some Free Art at the Museums

Free admission is standard at establishments like the Phoenix Airport Museum, ASU Art Museum, ASU Museum of Anthropology, Arizona Capitol Museum, and Shemer Art Center (though some accept and encourage donations). But visitors can also get complimentary access to Phoenix Art Museum from 3 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday and 6 to 10 p.m. on First Fridays; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art on Thursdays; and Phoenix Children’s Museum from 5 to 9 p.m. on First Fridays.

Kill It in Karaoke 

At 9 p.m. every Thursday and Saturday night (except the first Saturday of the month) Apollo’s Lounge brings out the karaoke so you can belt out the classics. The adults-only event is free to participate. For details, visit Apollo’s on Facebook or call 602-277-9373.

Let Your Pen Do the Talking 

On the second Tuesday of each month, Practical Art invites Valley wordsmiths to share their work with Uptown P.E.N., which stands for poetry event night. The evening runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and features a first-come, first-served open mic opportunities as well as established poets reading their own prose. For details, visit or call 602-264-1414.

Walk the Art Walk

Metro Phoenix offers many opportunities to take in the arts. The Downtown Phoenix Art Walk runs from 6 to 10 p.m. on the first Friday of the month. The Downtown Mesa Art Walk goes from 6 to 10 p.m. on the second Friday of the month. The Downtown Chandler Art Walk happens from 6 to 10 p.m. on the third Friday of the month. The Scottsdale Art Walk runs from 7 to 9 p.m. every Thursday. The Sunnyslope Art Walk pops-up from 5 to 9 p.m. on the second Saturday of October and April.

Unleash Your Inner Geek

Throughout the year Nerd Nite Phoenix invites local to learn drink and discuss on a number of topics including superheroes, time travel, and government conspiracies. These beer-fueled brain teasers tend to change up their dates and locations so the best way to stay in the known is to visit or check out the Nerd Nite Phoenix Facebook Page.

Catch a Movie Under the Stars

Lawn Gnome Publishing is making every Tuesday night a mystery movie night. The free flick viewing begins at 7:30 p.m. in the backyard of the downtown bookstore. If you love surprises as much as you love watching films outside, visit or visit the Lawn Gnome Facebook page.

Learn to Line Dance

Cash Inn Country is kicking up its cowboy boots from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday night with free line dancing lessons. Whether you’re gay, straight, or simply into country music, make your way to the Cash Inn for a complimentary cowboy-style workout. Visit for more information.


Get Crafty in Chandler

At 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, Gangplank gets the creative community together for an evening of arts and crafts. Bring your knitting needles, glitter, glue, and other DIY material and get ready to mix and mingle with other crafters as you work your handmade magic. For details, visit CraftHackEV on Facebook.

Get to Know Your Local Hangouts

Support new and local businesses, meet your fellow Phoenix residents over food and drinks, and enter to win raffle prizes with the monthly event, Get Your PHX. Past Get Your PHX gatherings have visited Milk Bar, Rollover Donuts, The Newton, and the Lisa Sette Gallery. To stay in the loop with Get Your PHX, visit

30 Free Things to Do in Metro Phoenix Any Time

Grant via Flickr

Joke Around in Scottsdale

Stand Up, Scottsdale gives up-and-coming comics a chance to test our their new material with its weekly open mic night. The unexpected (or uncomfortable) laughs begin at 8 p.m. every Tuesday and run until everyone has had their chance to wow the crowd. For more information, visit

Make It a Movie Night at the Library 

Every Wednesday night, the Phoenix Public Library invites movie-goers of all ages to heal their hump day blues with a free film screening at Burton Barr Central Library’s Pulliam Auditorium. Film screenings start at 6 p.m. For the full schedule, visit

Tweak Your Mind

Every Wednesday CO+HOOTS invites the public to partake in Midweek Mindtweek, a free series that features lunchtime lecturers from experts in their field. Food trucks will set up in the parking lot so guests can get their midday fuel while learning new ways to better their career. For a look at who’s lined up to speak, visit

Find Your Philosophical Side

Practical Art invites fellow philosophers and deep thinkers to discuss the big picture with its ongoing event, Socrates Cafe. The reflective rendezvous happens from 3 to 5 p.m. every first and third Sunday of the month. For details, visit or check out the Practical Art Facebook page.

Get Your Game On

Every third Sunday of the month, Firehouse Gallery is putting out the Pick-Up-Sticks, Scrabble, and whatever else it can find, for Game Day. The free affair runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Guests are encouraged to BYOB and BYO-games. For details and to see who’s coming, visit Firehouse Gallery on Facebook.

Mix and Mingle with Phoenix’s Movers and Shakers

Looking to network? Radiate PHX has you covered. The monthly series gives guests a chance to learn about the latest developments in downtown Phoenix as well as make connections with who’s who behind the city’s fast-paced growth. Radiate PHX’s dates and locations vary by month. To stay updated, visit

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Phoenix Voted “Buggiest” City in the United States

A recent study has shown that Phoenix has been listed as the “buggiest” as a result of studying data from Thumbtack. Because of how large Phoenix is and how closely Phoenix borders rural desert, there are all kinds of insects, bugs and pests that end up in Phoenician’s homes. If you haven’t killed a scorpion in your home, you haven’t been in Arizona very long. Now bed bugs are becoming more of a problem in the Phoenix area. Let Arizona Heat Pest help you get rid of an infestation.

Metro Phoenix tops the list for urban areas infested with creepy critters, a services-finding website says.

Thumbtack released its findings this week in a Top-10 list and article, declaring that “Phoenix, Arizona was far and away the leading bug zone.”

The site’s representatives “looked at 159 of the largest metro areas across the U.S. and measured the number of requests for pest-removal services, relative to the population in that metro, using these figures to develop the Thumbtack Pest Index… The categories we included in our measure of pest-removal requests were pest-control services, bed bug extermination, outdoor pesticide application, and termite and pest inspection.:

Based on those criteria, metro Phoenix rated a perfect 100 on the index. The next highest was the San Antonio, Texas, area with a pest index of 60.

Phoenix Area Listed as "Buggiest" in United States (3)

Why might this area be the buggiest? Maybe it’s the raw variety of bugs here: Phoenix is well-known for its scorpions and Africanized bees, but it can also be a hot spot for mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus, swarms of nasty flies, and the beloved cockroach.

Lucas Puente, economic analyst with Thumbtack, said he can’t explain it, and was a “little surprised by the story the data told.” Possibly, the lack of a long, freezing winter means a more prolific bug season, he surmised.

At New Times’ request, Thumbtack released an additional chart that shows the breakdown of bugs mentioned in the requests for service. Cockroaches, spiders, ants, and termites generate the most requests. Six percent of people seeking services didn’t know what kind of bug problem they had, which is never a good thing. Scorpions fall in the 12 percent of “other.” But they’re a special problem here, Puente acknowledged.

“Of note, there were far more requests describing problems with scorpions in Phoenix than in any other metropolitan area,” he said.

Phoenix Area Listed as "Buggiest" in United States (2)

Johnny Dilone, spokesman for the Maricopa County Environmental Services department, said the county can’t confirm Thumbtack’s designation of metro Phoenix as “buggiest.”

“I think I’d have to agree with all the bugs I see everywhere, but that’s just personal,” he said.

People from other areas often think Phoenix doesn’t have as many skeeters as other, more humid places they’ve lived, but even if they’re right, Dilone said, they soon realize that the Valley has its fair share.
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Study on Bed Bugs in Shared Living Situations

A recent survey that is the result of collaboration from the University of California, Colorado State University, New Mexico State University, University of Arizona and the University of Hawaii, has been released about how bed bugs behave in multi-unit or shared housing situations. There are several factors that contribute to the proliferation of infestations in these kinds of areas and it is important to understand what those factors are to prevent further infestation of others.

Bed bug management is especially challenging in public and subsidized housing environments, apartments, and other low-income, multi-unit housing (MUH) situations. In these environments, high rates of resident turnover, lack of economic and educational resources, ease of bed bug dispersal between units, and communication barriers such as literacy and language limitations may all contribute to chronic infestations. Researchers and policymakers recognize the need to address this challenging situation and to design valuable and timely extension and applied research programs in order to assist pest management professionals (PMPs) engaged in this work. Data on bed bug incidence and management approaches in the western United States are lacking as compared to those on the Eastern Seaboard and in the Midwest. To this end, several western urban entomologists and extension specialists have recently formed a work group with funding provided by the USDA’s Western Integrated Pest Management Center (WIPMC). The first task of the WIPMC Bed Bug Work Group was to assess the current prevailing bed bug management practices in use, the most challenging aspects associated with bed bug management in MUHs, and the self-reported needs of the industry that may improve bed bug management outcomes in these environments. An online survey was developed and distributed nationally (, regionally (via Work Group members’ websites and personal networks), and in California (Target Specialty Products client lists) to capture these desired data. A total of 114 individual PMPs completed this survey, with over 76% of these responses coming from the targeted western region (AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY), mostly from California (60% of total responses). Data presented are from all 114 respondents. Most (64%) PMPs represented small businesses (less than 20 total employees), but some (15%) hailed from large pest control companies (100 or more total employees). Though considered a very experienced group of pest management professionals (average experience in pest control industry was 22.7 years), most had only started managing bed bugs during the past 10 years (mean duration of bed bug experience = 9.6 years), thus reflecting the recent resurgence of bed bugs as key urban pests in the United States. The number of PMPs responding to the survey was low compared to the total number of licensed individuals within the region. Therefore, we caution PCT’s readers to consider that our results and findings may differ from other and future surveys on PMP attitudes, behaviors, and practices involving bed bug detection and management. A summary of responses to the survey is as follows:

PMPs’ Attitudes, Beliefs, Observations.

Most respondents (73%) believed that bed bug infestations had increased in 2014 as compared to 2013 while some (22%) believed that the levels of infestation had not changed during this period. This trend was stable when considering responses from different regions and states, suggesting that bed bug incidence may be increasing throughout the nation. Virtually half (49%) of all respondents considered summer to be the season with the most calls for bed bug services, while another large proportion (44%) reported no differences between seasons. It is unclear whether summer incidence may be driven by increased human travel, increased ambient temperature, or some combination of these and perhaps unknown factors. Though resistance to insecticides within bed bug populations has been a concern for some time now, the majority (57%) of respondents in this survey did not believe they had encountered resistance in the field. This was true even when considering data only from the Midwest and the Eastern Seaboard, where resistance in field populations has been reported as widespread. Furthermore, though insecticide resistance may be more easily recognized by those with the most years working in the field, the level of experience of respondents had no effect on this reported belief. MUHs, the focus of this survey, were considered by most respondents to harbor the worst (highest density) bed bug infestations, to be the most difficult locations in which to manage bed bugs, and to be the locations most often treated by their companies (96%, 65%, 74%, respectively) (Figure 1, above). Hotels/motels and shelters were also believed to harbor high-density infestations.

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New Research on Bed Bug Movement

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Bed bugs are very clever in the way that they are able to move from home to home and there is still not a lot of research that has taken place into exactly how these pests are able to infiltrate. A new study from Rutgers however is showing all kinds of patterns of bed bug behavior. When and how often they move and exactly how they travel from home is home is just some of the information found in this study. By understanding bed bug behavior it is exponentially easier to prevent an infestation.

Rutgers University researchers, Drs. Richard Cooper, Changlu Wang, and Narinderpal Singh, investigated bed bug movement within and between apartments to see how far bed bugs moved in this setting. The report, titled “Mark-Release-Recapture Reveals Extensive Movement of Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) within and between Apartments” appears in the most recent issue of PLOS One.

An abstract follows:
Understanding movement and dispersal of the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius L.) under field conditions is important in the control of infestations and for managing the spread of bed bugs to new locations. We investigated bed bug movement within and between apartments using mark-release-recapture (m-r-r) technique combined with apartment-wide monitoring using pitfall-style interceptors. Bed bugs were collected, marked, and released in six apartments. The distribution of marked and unmarked bed bugs in these apartments and their 24 neighboring units were monitored over 32 days. Extensive movement of marked bed bugs within and between apartments occurred regardless of the number of bed bugs released or presence/absence of a host. Comparison of marked and unmarked bed bug distributions confirms that the extensive bed bug activity observed was not an artifact of the m-r-r technique used. Marked bed bugs were recovered in apartments neighboring five of six m-r-r apartments. Their dispersal rates at 14 or 15 d were 0.0–5.0%. The estimated number of bed bugs per apartment in the six m-r-r apartments was 2,433–14,291 at 4–7 d after release. Longevity of bed bugs in the absence of a host was recorded in a vacant apartment. Marked large nymphs (3rd– 5th instar), adult females, and adult males continued to be recovered up to 57, 113, and 134 d after host absence, respectively. Among the naturally existing unmarked bed bugs, unfed small nymphs (1st– 2nd instar) were recovered up to 134 d; large nymphs and adults were still found at 155 d when the study ended. Our findings provide important insight into the behavioral ecology of bed bugs in infested apartments and have significant implications in regards to eradication programs and managing the spread of bed bugs within multi-occupancy dwellings.
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