When requesting a WDO inspection during a real estate
- Don't rely on the WDO report alone
- Be present when the WDO inspection is done
- Obtain documentation on termite treatment history and copies
of any protection contracts issued for the property
- Maintain an active WDO protection contract on the property after
The issue of Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO) inspections
and the resulting reports is so misunderstood that this site has
been compiled to answer your most common questions, as well as to
correct much of the mis-information that is passed around about
For ANY subject, it is always good to have DEFINITIVE
SOURCE information. The fact that "Aunt Sally" told you
so is NOT definitive! Always go to the source, or to the people
in the know, to get answers about any subject in life. On this subject,
WDO inspections in Florida, we got our answers from the State of
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division
of Agricultural Environmental Services. These are the people
who make the WDO rules in Florida!
What is a WDO Report?
As defined by the state of Florida, a Wood Destroying
Organism (WDO) 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".
A WDO report may also be commonly called a "Termite
Inspection", "Clearance Letter", or "Termite
A WDO inspection not only checks for subterranean termites and
dry wood termites, but will also include wood destroying beetles
and wood decaying fungi.
Carpenter ants and carpenter bees are NOT reportable as a wood
destroying organism on the state of Florida WDO form.
By Florida statute, a WDO report is provided when a home or other
structure is being sold and the mortgage lender OR buyer requests
the WDO 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 482.226,
Florida Statutes and Chapter 5E-14.142(2)(c), Florida Administrative
Code). That form number is 13645, but there are several parts to
Did You Know?
- The State WDO form that all Florida WDO inspectors are required
to use comes with instructions? The instructions to fill out the
state WDO form (13645) is 5 pages long!
- The WDO report is NOT required by the state to be guaranteed
for a set period of time? Most people think a WDO report is good
for 30 days, but it is ONLY required to accurately reflect the
condition of the property relative to wood-destroying organisms
at the time the inspection was performed.
- PROBING during the course of the WDO inspection is PERMITTED
by the state, and is encouraged to determine infestation?
- The person requesting the WDO report must be provided a copy
of that report?
- Fencing is NOT considered a part of the structure UNLESS it
- Decks ARE considered a part of the structure if they are attached