Termite & WDO Inspections
When it comes to protecting your home, make sure you check it for damage from the inside out. Wood destroying insects can inflict serious damage on a home, and the state of Florida rates very high on the termite probability index for termite damage. Schedule a termite inspection with the professional team from 360PestControl. Call (904) 503-9808 or request an inspection now. We serve Jacksonville, Orlando, and the surrounding areas.
Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO)
The inspection of your home for wood destroying organisms is just as important as having a certified pre-purchase home inspection or new construction inspection. Failing to consider this is a big mistake. Termites, wood boring beetles, and wood destroying organisms such as white or brown wood rot are a very real threat to your investment. You should understand your homeowner’s insurance will not cover damage from termites or wood destroying organisms.
The Fallacy of the “Assumable Termite Guarantee”
Unfortunately, many buyers are lulled into a false sense of security if the home is sold with an “assumable termite guarantee.” These are commonly referred to as a “termite bond,” but you should understand there is no such thing. Pest control companies do not issue “bonds”; like any other trade contractor, we issue “guarantees” with our service plans.
- The issuing company does not have to extend it to you.
- They can re-inspect the property before allowing you to assume it, and if they find issues, they may refuse or require you to pay for treatment services.
- The company may require you to make improvements to drainage, landscaping, tree trimming, or repairs to other components such as windows, plumbing, or irrigation.
- Some only cover damage from eastern subterranean termites, but your home could be infested with the new Formosan subterranean termite or drywood termites.
- Unfortunately, few plans provide any protection from wood destroying fungi.
No. All WDO inspections are not equal. For example, we have seen reports which excluded "all walls, all baseboards, all windows, the attic, all flooring, the garage and all cabinets" due to furnishings, stored goods, draperies, window coverings, and so on. If access to the home is that restricted, the inspector should simply refuse to perform the inspection and refund your money.
- Unfortunately, WDO Inspections are often conducted by minimally trained or insured inspectors.
- Some pest management companies refuse to conduct them due to known liability and potential claims.
- Of the home inspectors who do conduct them, many will disclaim almost every component of the home, leaving you with a mostly worthless inspection report or no recourse should you find a problem that should have been detected.
Often, buyers order a termite inspection (for home purchase) through a home inspector who is not licensed to conduct WDO inspections — without any regard as to who will be doing the inspection. This is a big mistake. Buyers should fully understand the qualifications of the WDO inspector as this may be more important than the home inspection.
At a minimum, WDO inspectors should meet the following criteria:
- Be fully licensed employees of a licensed pest control company.
- They must carry a license beginning with JE, which is issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
- The name of the pest control company must be fully displayed on their inspection vehicle.
- Additionally, ask the inspection company if they can provide treatment. Inspectors who do not offer treatment services often "rent" a license to perform WDO inspections only. This means they are probably not well trained and do not meet the most minimum requirements to have a license.
Keep in mind that hiring a WDO inspector who does not provide treatment services is a big risk. If something is missed, they plan to dump your claim off to a 3rd-party warranty provider. What they don't know, or they don't tell you, is that this is illegal in Florida.
Remember, you won't get a professional WDO inspection conducted by a truly qualified and insured inspector by hiring the cheapest one you can find. There is a lot of risk in providing these inspections, both to the inspector and to you alike. If you simply shop for the cheapest termite inspection companies, you will get what you pay for, and we wish you good luck.
Let’s consider the different types and understand their habits.
Subterranean termites: Generally, we find the eastern and the Formosan termite in Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida. These termites nest in the ground, although the Formosan may establish aerial nests within the home. They enjoy wood with elevated moisture.
Drywood termites: Drywood termites do not require a moisture source and can easily infest dry, seasoned wood. They often enter our homes from swarms around doorways, windows, soffits, eaves or attic openings. They are also found in flooring. They nest within the wood and are much harder to detect early in the colonization period. We often do not locate them until we see evidence of frass on the floor or blistering in the wood.
Powderpost Beetles: We have the true and the false powderpost beetles comprised of Lyctid, Anobiid, Bostrichid and Old House Borers. It is important that your WDO inspector be able to identify these types of beetles as some re-infest and some do not. The beetles are rarely seen as they exit the wood after laying their eggs. These hatch into the larvae, which does the actual damage. If your inspector does not have use of a TermaTrac® instrument, they won't be able to identify if the evidence is live, and all they can do is to recommend treatment or further monitoring.
Wood Destroying Fungi: Wet wood is conducive to many types of wood consuming fungi such as white rot, brown rot, soft rot, and poria. These fungi consume the lignin in the wood which causes the wood to crumble and lose structural integrity. Homes on crawlspaces are especially vulnerable to fungi.
First, our inspectors have dual licensure as both home inspectors and termite inspectors. We know and understand moisture and conducive conditions, and we know how to inspect and identify wood destroying organisms and insects. In fact, our inspectors carry multiple state licenses and national certifications. We employ the highest trained technicians in the industry. We want you to think of our inspectors as your Certified Building Consultant™.
Second, we employ the use of the patented TermaTrac termite locating system, which uses radar to locate live insects within wood. With us, there is no guessing. You will know if you have live activity or not. What is that worth to you? We understand that as of this moment, you may truly not know, so here are some reasons:
- Having a report which identifies damage or evidence is simply that … what do you do with the information? No WDO inspector can tell you if there are active or live insects present simply based on evidence. Many inspectors use that as an excuse to sell whole-house fumigation — whether you need it or not.
- If there is live activity present, how extensive is it? Unless the inspector is using TermaTrac, they won't know without extensive probing or opening the walls and floors. Remember, most termite guarantees only cover eastern subterranean termites, so there is no protection in place for wood destroying beetles or drywood termites.
- Remember that we are true professionals and can handle all your inspection needs.
Yes, an inspector who has invested in the latest technology will cost more upfront than the barely qualified, cheap WDO inspector, and you can probably save a few bucks by hiring them. We think investing a few dollars more upfront that may save thousands of dollars later is a good return on your investment. You can hire the inspectors who provide "orange sticky dots," or you can hire an inspector with 360 Pest Control.
360PestControl uses the patented TermaTrac locating equipment that incorporates radar, thermal, and moisture sensing to locate hidden insects. The value is you know if there is live activity rather than only knowing about visible evidence. The TermaTrac instrument costs about $5,000 each, so very few inspectors have them. We think they are important, and we think you should have the benefit of knowing what you are buying. You'll soon forget a few bucks, but you may remember the poorly equipped inspector a long time.
Unfortunately, there are literally hundreds of WDO inspectors who are barely insured or under-insured. What recourse will you have if they perform a negligent inspection? If you are using a home inspector who "rents" a JE card (WDO card), often you are handed over to a 3rd-party warranty provider (which is illegal in Florida).
What this means to you is the WDO inspector may not be licensed to treat for wood destroying organisms. If they are not licensed to treat, how qualified do you think they really are? Some pest control operators "rent" a license to home inspectors who want to create additional revenue with WDO inspections. They are simply not trained, nor can they offer advice on treatment or identify the issue. What good is it to you to hear there is "evidence of termite galleries" if you don't know if there is "live" activity? Unless you hire an inspector who uses the TermaTrac system, you won't know. This may mean someone pays for an unnecessary treatment, or you pass on a home you want to buy. That is certainly far more expensive than a few bucks.
360PestControl is a sister company to Property360. All WDO inspections are performed by 360PestControl.
Ask us about the Always Active Sentricon® Termite Bait System
When it comes to protecting your home and family, choose 360PestControl for a termite inspection — and all your inspection needs. Learn more about us and then call (904) 503-9808 or request an inspection now. We serve Jacksonville and the surrounding areas in Florida including Fleming Island, St. Augustine, Lake City, Green Cove Springs, Keystone Heights, Lake Butler, Macclenny, Orlando, and beyond. Remember, you don’t have to hire the most qualified inspector, but it helps!