Consumer News

Problem Solvers Protect your pets all year from fleas Protect your pets all year from fleas
You're not the only one who's enjoying the warmer weather, so are the fleas that are on the lawn, at the park and maybe in your house. That's why you want to make sure your pets – both dogs and cats – are protected.
Problem Solvers Credit card debt still a serious problem in the U.S. Credit card debt still a serious problem in the U.S.
First the good news: American families are making some progress at whittling down their credit card debt. But according to a new survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), we’ve still got a long way to go.
Problem Solvers The dangers of thirdhand smoke The dangers of thirdhand smoke
You've heard about secondhand smoke and you know that it can hurt people who breathe it.

Now scientists are researching the health consequences of thirdhand smoke: The residue that tobacco smoke leaves on furniture, carpets, walls, clothing and other inanimate objects.
Problem Solvers Some popular plants are toxic to pets Some popular plants are toxic to pets
Think about your pets as you do your springtime gardening and get the yard back in shape. The ASPCA reminds pet parents to be wary of some popular, but poisonous plants.
Problem Solvers Rental scams on the rise Rental scams on the rise (Video)
If you're looking online for vacation rentals or even a place to live, be sure to proceed with caution. Rental scammers are hitting virtually all the rental housing websites. Make the wrong move online and bogus landlords will con you out of hundreds, even thousands of dollars that you'll never get back.
Problem Solvers Want to adopt a new pet? Don't rush it Want to adopt a new pet? Don't rush it
My wife and I just became proud pet parents again this week.

We adopted Buster, a 10-year old longhaired orange tabby, from Homeward Pet in Woodinville. He’s a spry guy with a lot of personality and very affectionate.

It took us several visits to the shelter to find Buster.
Problem Solvers Paving scammers target local property owners Paving scammers target local property owners (Video)
Roving asphalt pavers are targeting local property owners and walking away with thousands of dollars. The latest complaints are from East King County where at least four victims were hit. The victims report the pavers drove a white truck with a flashing yellow light on the top. They claim to have extra material from an earlier job and offer to patch your driveway or parking lot for a bargain. Don't do it.
Problem Solvers Don't get scammed - be skeptical of everything Don't get scammed - be skeptical of everything
As hard as you try, there is nothing you can do to guarantee that you won't get taken by a scammer. But you can reduce your chances of becoming a victim by being constantly on guard and always skeptical.
Problem Solvers Cat's Meow: Does it work? Cat's Meow: Does it work? (Video)
Amaretto is an aloof, leery, 2 year old Persian-mix that's not much for excessive play.
His owner Greg Netzel got a motorized chase toy as a gift a while back, but the toy has essentially been collecting dust. A plastic mouse moving under a burgundy circle of fabric is supposed to peak a cat's "thrill of the hunt". But Netzel says the thrill didn't last long. Amaretto lost interest. So his expectations for a motorized mouse 'tail' covered by 'yellow' fabric are pretty low.
Problem Solvers Hotels tighten cancellation policies Hotels tighten cancellation policies
Book a hotel room these days and you'd better know the cancellation policy. Don't assume you have until late in the afternoon on the day of your arrival. You may not.
Problem Solvers Think pest control all year long Think pest control all year long
Pest control isn’t a priority just when it’s warm. It's something you need to think about year-round, if you want to avoid unwanted guests.

Start by sealing up windows and doors. If you have mulch in flower beds next to the house, it would be smart to replace the mulch with rocks.
Problem Solvers Sports fans damage a lot of cellphones Sports fans damage a lot of cellphones
Here's a heads up to all the 12's – be smart with your smartphone during the Super Bowl. In a recent online survey, the folks at SquareTrade, a company that insures these devices, found that one in ten adults has damaged a phone while watching or participating in a sporting event last year.
Problem Solvers Think safety when using extension cords Think safety when using extension cords
Extension cords can be a trip hazard. That's why so many people try to cover them up with a throw rug or small piece of carpet.

John Drengenberg, a safety expert at UL, says that's something you should never do.