Traveling this summer? What can you do for your empty house beyond locking doors? VIA readers offer tips.
"Make a list: Stop mail, mow lawn, computer off," says Ron Hamann of Meridian, Idaho.
"We hand out chalk to neighbor kids and ask them to use it on our driveway," Kris Fox of Eugene, Ore., says."The house looks lived in and we come home to beautiful artscapes."
"Even if you don’t have a dog," says Jenita Gumiensky of Las Vegas,"put a water bowl by the back door."
"I secure a sliding glass door by wedging a dowel into the floor frame," says Sharon Scurry of Corvallis, Mont.
"Keep plants happy," advises Judith Bernstein of San Jose."Place them in a bathtub filled with an inch of water."
Illustration by Michael Klein
This article was first published in July 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.