The department has three major focus areas:
- Biomedical research, with emphasis on insect genomics and urban/public health. This includes mosquito biology and vector control as it affects urban and public health and human and animal disease.
- Natural/Agro Ecosystems Research, with emphasis on Integrated Pest Management/Biological Control of pest problems, and environmental monitoring and protection. It includes:
- IPM/biological control of commodity pests such as horticultural, field and forage crops, forest and Christmas tree, household and structural pests
- Monitoring and protection of the environment.
- Urban Entomology and Pesticide Safety Education, are extension/outreach programs with special emphasis on Virginia School Integrated Pest Management, IPM in public housing, protecting human health and the environment through pesticide safety education, and working with stakeholders to maintain viable and balanced IPM practices through pesticide regulatory compliance and assessment.