If you are charged a fee for a wood destroying organism (WDO) inspection in Florida, the inspector must issue the required Form 13645. Wood destroying organism inspections are regulated under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and inspectors must be licensed. See Chapter 482, FS 482.226.
Good Industry Practices
Due to potential liability, many well-known pest control companies are skirting the law by providing inspections disguised as WDO inspections without issuing the state-required form. You should understand they are seeking to limit their liability should they fail to perform a compliant WDO inspection, and your recourse may be limited. They are not following recommended “Good Industry Practices” and their ultimate goal is to get paid to sell services.
Our Florida homes are subject to damage by both insects and wood-decaying organisms. Homebuyers moving to Florida are often unaware of the potential threat caused by our many species of termites, powderpost beetles, and wood-decaying rot such as white or brown wood rot. Florida is a wet state and one of the highest on the termite probability map. We like to say, “it’s not a matter of if you will get termites, it’s when”.
Don’t be fooled by low fees, non-compliant, WDO inspections. Ask if the inspector will issue the FDACS 13645 report. If they say no, move on.
Standard WDO Inspection
A WDO inspection, at a minimum, includes a visual inspection for evidence of both subterranean and drywood termites, powderpost beetles, and wood-decaying organisms such as white or brown wood rot. The inspector must inspect all accessible areas of the structure, including crawlspace and attic. The inspector is not required to access any area over 8 feet high. WDO inspectors who seek to provide the highest quality inspection will often use remote tools such as drones, camera poles, moisture meters, thermal cameras, or the patented TermaTrac™ system which uses radar to observe insect activity behind walls, floors, and ceilings. Yes, you will pay a little more for a quality inspection, but you will also receive the best possible WDO inspection.
Termites and wood-destroying organisms cause considerable damage to our homes and offices in Florida. If you are buying real estate, you want the absolute best WDO inspector you can find. Don’t rely upon the referral from your real estate agent; they may mean well but they often refer the most convenient inspector or the cheapest. Neither is in your best interest.
Quality WDO Inspection
A quality inspection takes time to locate evidence and investigate hidden termite activity. We find that the $75 WDO inspector spends less than 20 minutes on average walking around the house. You will also find they exclude almost everything in the report as being obstructed from viewing or inaccessible. Basically, you are left with a worthless report. I’ve seen WDO reports where everything inside the home, including the attic, was excluded! In essence, these buyers wasted $75.
Some WDO inspectors want you to pay them $75 so they can show up and sell termite, pest, and lawn care services. They often sell fear, and most will show you evidence of termite activity using a picture on their phone of a termite wing they found in the attic or garage…maybe they did and maybe they didn’t. This approach is great for the termite company as they have no liability; they told you the home needs treatment. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t. How would you really know?
You can get a good WDO inspection, which is compliant with the minimum standards of practice under $200 for most homes but you should understand it is a visual inspection only. The inspector is not tasked with doing anything more than probing visually damaged wood. We suggest you consider a WDO inspection with TermaTrac™ which uses radar to locate hidden termites (it may also find ants, cockroaches, rodents, and bees). This inspection will take longer but you will know you have done everything possible to protect yourself. Yes, it will cost more. The average fee for a typical slab home is about $400, but it could save you from buying a home needing extensive repair. You should also understand damage due to termites is not covered by homeowners insurance. Tearing out a wall and treating for termites can cost $30,000 or more. You’ll soon forget the difference you paid for the inspection, but you’ll remember the expensive repair for a long time.
Our patented TermaTrac™ inspection includes a complete retreatment guarantee. If you find active termites within 90 days of your inspection, we’ll treat the home at no cost to you.
For a WDO inspection using Termatrac™, contact 360PestControl at (904) 637-1109 to request service today!