Fact or fiction? Ask the experts.
Questions about fertilizing your lawn? Want to make sure you’re using flea and tick control at the right time? Or maybe you’re confused about something you read on this site. Our garden, lawncare, pet, and health experts are ready to help you out. They also offer unique tips and guidelines for safely and effectively managing pests on our blog.
Debug the Myths experts work hard to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for their families and pets, and want to share their tips and tricks to help you do the same.
Robin L. Tabuchi
Robin has loved animals since she was a little girl. She went to college with the intention of fulfilling a childhood dream to become a veterinarian. After two years at UC Davis, she took an elective class that left her wanting to study something much smaller in size, but larger in abundance - insects! She appreciates insects for their diversity, how they are found in nearly every environment and how they impact our daily lives, whether we like it or not. After college, Robin found her niche while researching subterranean termites at the USDA Forest Service. She currently manages a research lab at UC Berkeley and focuses on finding ways to prevent and control many household and structural pests, including bed bugs, subterranean and drywood termites and Argentine ants. She also presents research findings at industry conferences and provides outreach to local schools. Robin enjoys traveling and hiking with her husband and two dogs, and most of all, teaching, laughing and learning with her inquisitive son.
Kelli Howland says her love of the outdoors originated from helping her grandmother care for a yard full of amazing flowers and helping grow her family’s vegetable garden. “I’ll never forget picking and eating sweet corn standing there in the stalks.” While trying to decide on a major in college, the descriptions for the Horticulture major at BYU caught her attention and she knew it was for her. She worked on the BYU tree crew while in school — climbing, pruning, and chopping — and “fell” further and further in love. Graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in landscape management, Kelli went to work for ValleyCrest Companies. She’s spent time in both their maintenance and development divisions, and she currently manages the landscape maintenance of properties in Northern California. She holds a California Pesticide Applicators license, and is the VCLM branch safety officer. When away from work, she loves spending time with her husband enjoying the outdoors — riding horses, camping, archery, duck hunting, and of course, helping out in the yard.
Cathie Lavis, Ph.D.
Dr. Cathie Lavis combines real world experience with academic knowledge as she helps prepare Kansas State University students for landscape management careers. With expertise ranging from landscape maintenance, arboriculture and irrigation to contracting, Cathie understands aspect s of maintaining your landscape, from designing an effective irrigation system to working with a professional contractor. Cathie is also involved with industry organizations such as the Irrigation Association Education Foundation, (IAEF) Kansas Nursery and Landscape Association (KNLA), Professional Landscape Network (PLANET) and the Kansas Arborist Association (KAA).
Melissa Brookshire, DVM
Dr. Melissa Brookshire balances the busy life of a veterinary consultant and mom of two active boys. After graduating from the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine, Melissa has owned and operated a multi-species veterinary hospital with her husband and worked as director of veterinary services for Diamond Pet Foods. In 2007, Melissa established North River Enterprises and now provides consulting services to the pet food and animal health industries. Outside of her business, Melissa is a CASA volunteer and enjoys hiking, reading, traveling and photography.
John Stier, Ph.D.
"Dr. Stier changes the way I think" -Student
Dr. John Stier has always like the outdoors, nature and science, so an interest in plant-pest management was natural. He was just old enough during the ecology movement in the 1970's to be interested in how society affects the environment. Dr. Stier is fascinated by the fact that when people consume or apply a compound it's called an antibiotic, when applied to a pant, it becomes a pesticide and is criticized by the same doctors that give that compound to patients. Currently, his favorite course to teach is Lawns, Society and the Environment, which explores the intersections of societal norms, regulations, economics, and the environmental impact of our urban landscapes. He is an active member of several professional societies including the Crop Science Society of America, the Sports Turf Managers Association and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Outside of his work and research, Dr. Stier enjoys reading, hiking, camping, fishing, bicycling and spending time with his family (and their cat, Tonka) at his home outside Madison, WI.
Inspect and Protect
Prevent pests inside and outside your home all year with simple tips and tricks.