Termites and real estate inspections

Apr 23, 2021, 11:25 AM by Fred Speer

California’s real estate market continuing to sizzle with activity. So it’s important for both buyers and sellers to remember that if a home sale is being financed through a lender, it’s likely you’ll need to have a WDO (wood-destroying organism) inspection done before the sale is completed.

Clark, your neighborly termite, grounds care, and pest management expert, can help home sellers and buyers with this important task.

What is a WDO inspection report?

A WDO inspection report must be completed by a state-licensed termite inspector who will examine your home inside and outside.

The report will include information about the current infestation status of your home and property. Termites and other wood-destroying organisms are easy to miss, but their destructive handiwork is hard not to miss, yet often isn’t found until the damage is widespread.

The report will indicate if an active termite infestation or other WDO issue is present, if there are signs of previous termite damage from a past infestation, or if there are conditions conducive to WDO infestation (e.g., excess moisture, soil to wood contact).

“Most homeowners are unaware a report is required,” says Duane Payton, WDO service manager at Clark Pest Control’s Sacramento office. “Clark is there to serve as an independent third-party expert and inform the buyer or seller what’s going on inside their home when it comes to termites and other wood-destroying organisms.”

Why do I need a WDO report?

Most lending institutions require that homes in California be inspected for wood-destroying pests and organisms before a home loan is financed, or when refinancing a mortgage. Payton adds that either the buyer or seller can request the inspection.

It’s important that you don’t assume your standard home inspection will include a WDO inspection, which will require an inspector licensed by the Structural Pest Control Board. A WDO inspection should cover anything that could possibly be a problem, even if it currently isn’t a problem. The inspection can also cover structures and areas adjacent to the home, such as the garage, sheds, pool houses, or outbuildings.

Clark inspectors deliver

Clark’s highly trained and licensed termite inspectors will conduct a comprehensive inspection, examining your home inside and outside for signs of termites and wood-destroying pests and organisms.

The inspector will pay close attention to the attic, the basement or subarea, windows, plumbing, and crawl spaces and voids – favorite pest hangouts.

If termites or wood-destroying pests and organisms are found, they will recommend the most effective treatment method, customized to your needs. They’ll also advise you on appropriate repairs – a service Clark offers customers with licensed contractors on staff – for any damaged areas.

Payton says each WDO inspection is different. He recalls a recent episode where a home with brand new stucco and trim held a hidden secret.

While in the attic, the inspector noticed rodent droppings and, upon further inspection, found termite tubes hidden by the insulation. The subterranean termites had traveled upward from the soil beneath the slab home and had made their way – inside the home’s wood framing – up to the attic.

There were no visible signs of termites on the first floor of the house. Had the inspector not taken the time to look from top to bottom, the termites would have gone unnoticed. 

The inspection

Having your home inspected annually for termites and other wood-destroying pests by a highly trained expert inspector who knows where to look, what to look for, and how to fix the problem can offer you the peace of mind and confidence that your termite problem will be taken care of properly.

Clark Pest Control is committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify you before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.

If you’re planning on buying or selling a home and you need a WDO inspection, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send an email to

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.

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