What is a Wood Destroying Organism Inspection Report?
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. Usually, this means subterranean or dry
wood termites, but will also cover wood destroying beetles and wood destroying
In Florida, carpenter ants and carpenter bees do NOT have to be reported.
A WDO report is also commonly called a "Termite Inspection", "Clearance Letter", or
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 performed 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.
*What does a WDO report tell a buyer?
A WDO report tells the buyer if the pest control inspector saw any evidence of the
- live termites or other wood-destroying organisms - evidence of infestation by
termites or other wood-destroying organisms (including wood-destroying fungi) -
damage by termites or other wood-destroying organisms - previous treatment for
termites or other wood-destroying organisms
The inspector must report the common name of the wood-destroying organism
identified and the location of the evidence. If any areas are not accessible for
inspection these areas and the reason they are inaccessible must be reported.
(For example - if an attic is not inspected, this must be noted and the reason, -e.g. "low
crawl space" must be put on the form).
*What is a "clear" report?
A "clear" report is a report that states that no evidence of wood-destroying
organisms infestation or damage was visible and accessible at the time of the
*What does a "clear" report mean?
A "clear" report means that there was no evidence of wood-destroying organisms
infestation or damage visible and accessible to the inspector at the time of the
inspection. It does NOT mean, however, that the buyer can be absolutely assured
that there are no wood destroying organisms infesting the structure or that there is
no damage from termites or other wood-destroying organisms.
Note*** it is very possible for termite or other WDO damage or infestations
to be behind walls or in some other inaccessible location even in structures
that receive "clear" reports.
Such an infestation or damage may be hidden (therefore not visible and accessible),
or may have been repaired by the seller and therefore not visible and accessible to
the pest control inspector.
*How can a home buyer find out if the home they want to buy is not
infested or damaged by termites? What should a home buyer do if there is
evidence of infestation or damage?
In addition to the WDO inspection, homebuyers should obtain written
documentation of the following:
- termite treatments and termite protection contracts issued on the structure for at
least the last three years (longer if available). (Note: Florida law requires pest
control companies to issue a written contract whenever termite or other WDO
treatments are performed).
- reports of annual inspections conducted as part of a termite protection contract.
These reports will indicate if signs of infestation or damage were observed during the
term of the protection contract.
- any WDO inspections performed on the structure within the last year (or longer if
The contract and treatment information should be reviewed to determine if the home
has been actively protected against termites. All structures in Florida need to be
actively protected and inspected annually. A structure that has not had this
protection should be inspected very thoroughly to determine if there is an active
The reports of annual inspection and previous WDO inspections should be reviewed
to determine if infestation or damage has been observed in the past. If infestation
or damage was observed, documentation on treatment performed and repairs made
should be obtained.
The existence of a past infestation or damage does not necessarily mean that the
buyer should not purchase the home. The buyer should obtain additional information,
however, to determine what steps (if any) are needed to put the structure into an
*What should a home buyer do if "visible damage" is reported on an initial
WDO inspection report, and then the damage is repaired so a "clear" letter
can be provided to the mortgage lender?
Any report of visible damage or infestation is an indication that termites or other
WDOs have been or are present in the structure. Repair of damage may or may not
have resolved the problem. Homebuyers should investigate further to determine the
status of WDO protection on the structure and determine if the damage repaired was
a symptom of more extensive infestation or damage.
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 protection
contracts issued for the structure