WDO Inspections

A Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) Inspection Report is a written report of an inspection on a home for visible and accessible evidence of an infestation or damage by wood destroying organisms.

It’s very likely, if your home doesn’t pass the WDO Inspection , you can’t sell it.

A WDO report is also commonly called a “Termite Inspection”, “Clearance Letter”, or “Termite Letter”.

A WDO inspection report is provided when a home or other structure is being sold and the mortgage lender or buyer requires the inspection as part of the transaction. IF an inspection is done for these purposes, the inspection must be reported on a specific report form as required by Florida Law. (Chapter 482, Florida Statutes). The form is sometimes called the “1145 report” because of the old form number.

The WDO inspection can only be done by a wood-destroying organisms identification cardholder (or a certified operator with the wood-destroying organisms category) of a pest control company licensed by the state of Florida. These employees must receive special training to be qualified as WDO inspectors.

Florida homeowners are subject to damage by several types of wood destroying insects and organisms. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recognizes the following organisms as “wood destroying”:

  • Eastern, Asian and Formosan subterranean termites
  • West Indian Drywood termite
  • Dampwood termite
  • Powderpost beetles (true and false)
  • Old House Borer
  • Brown rot, white rot and poria fungi

In addition, FDACS recognizes “conducive conditions” which may promote habitation by a wood destroying organism such as moisture in wood above 30%. Some parts of Florida arealso experiencing a growing threat from an Asian/Formosan hybrid termite which is more destructive than any single species we have. Homeowners are often unaware of termite infestation in their homes. Left untreated, significant damage is highly likely and repair costs may run into thousands of dollars; none of which is covered by your homeowners insurance.

Most potential buyers today will have the home inspected for wood destroying organisms as a condition of a purchase offer. The VA/USDA require a clean report as a loan condition. Any buyer who purchases a Florida home without having the home inspected for wood destroying organisms is taking a huge risk.

But what if the home has active infestation from drywood termites, beetles or fungi? The new homeowner would not be protected!

There is only one way to protect yourself against termites if you are purchasing a home – have it inspected by a licensed WDO Inspector. The inspector will issue the required FDACS 13645 Form which will identify all types of wood destroying organisms found or alert you to conducive conditions in the home. Do not rely upon the Realtor’s assurance you do not need a WDO inspection because the home has a transferrable termite “bond”. Many realtors are confused in this regard. First, there is no such thing as a “termite bond”; there is only a guarantee or warranty which is issued by the pest control company – “bonds” are issued by surety companies. Again, most termite guarantees only cover new infestation by eastern subterranean termites (some do cover other termites/beetles) and there are different types of guarantees – retreatment only or retreatment and repair. There are different levels of financial responsibility such as “up to $50,000” or “up to $100,000”, etc. If you are going to rely upon a transferrable guarantee, make sure you understand what you are getting!