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Everything You Need to Know About WDO Inspections

Updated: Jul 3

Termites and other wood-destroying organisms (WDOs) are a significant issue in Wisconsin. The state’s perfect climate allows these intruders to secure their place in our properties. Apparently, we’re not the only ones who enjoy Wisconsin's warm, humid summers and mild falls. These are also the perfect conditions for WDOs to build underground colonies and forage for food. Not only this, but winters are also quite comforting and protective for WDOs. The insulation that the soil provides during colder months helps protect their colonies. This allows them to survive and become active when the temperature rises.

Given these favorable conditions to thrive, these pesky insects can cause significant damage in the region. Our properties bear the brunt of this, especially if left untreated.

Is there a solution? Yes, there are many. But you need to know which one is good for you, and you can do that by scheduling a WDO inspection.

In this blog, we will discuss a WDO inspection and answer any other questions you might have related to it.

What is WDO Inspection?

A WDO inspection is a thorough process of detecting organisms that can damage wooden structures. This inspection detects infestations of different organisms like Carpenter ants, Termites, Wood-boring beetles, and Fungi such as wood decay fungi.

When conducting a WDO inspection, a licensed inspector examines the property. They look for signs of damage, infestation, and conductions that can lead to infestations. Inspected areas include the interior and exterior, including basements, crawl spaces, attics, and other areas where wood is present.

What is Included in a WDO Inspection Report?

A WDO inspection report is as comprehensive as the inspection itself. It includes every single detail about the inspection and the infestation. It informs about the presence and extent of the infestation by termites, carpenter ants, wood-decay fungi, and wood-boring beetles. The report outlines the visible signs of these organisms, and some of the most common signs are:

  • Mud tubes

  • Frass

  • Damaged wood

  • Live insects

So, if you notice any of such signs, it’s time to schedule a WDO inspection. The report also adds photographs and mentions specific locations within the property where the inspector witnessed these signs. You also get insight into the structural damage and identify conditions that could make your home conducive to future infestations. Some of such conditions are poor ventilation, moisture issues, and wood-to-ground contact.

The inspector also includes treatment recommendations in the report. If you follow these recommendations, it will be easier to eliminate existing infestations and prevent future problems. They also provide advice on necessary repairs to address structural damage.

Additionally, the report includes the inspection date, inspector's credentials, and any relevant observations or comments. All in all, this comprehensive report is an important part of the overall inspection process. It lets you understand the extent of the issues and the steps needed to mitigate them.

Is WDO Inspection Necessary for a VA Loan?

If you plan on using a VA (Veteran Affairs) loan to buy a property or refinance your already existing mortgage, then a termite inspection might be required. Any property you’re buying with a VA loan should meet the VA’s minimum property requirements. These requirements ensure that the property you’re buying is safe and structurally sound.

Since June 2022, there has been an additional requirement for wood-destroying organism (WDO) inspections. But that’s only for homes in areas where the probability of termite infestation is moderate to high or very high. So, yes, for Wisconsin, you need to schedule a WDO inspection for VA loan approval.

The requirement for a WDO inspection helps ensure that the property being purchased is free from significant termite or other wood-destroying organism damage. This helps in protecting the investment of both the homebuyer and the lender. So yes, a WDO inspection is crucial in the VA loan approval process, particularly given Wisconsin's susceptibility to termite infestations due to its climate and environmental conditions.

What Happens If A House Fails a WDO Inspection?

Once a house fails a WDO inspection, then it is a clear indication that your home is intruded upon by termites and other wood-destroying organisms. The inspection report will highlight the inspector’s findings, including the extent of the infestation and any other conditions that might lead to further issues. Once the issues are highlighted, you, as a property owner, shall address them one by one. The best way to handle them professionally is by hiring a pest control professional who can treat the infestation. Also, if you are going to get a VA loan and your inspection report highlights the issues, then you need to make repairs. This is important if you want to get your loan approved.  For this you can hire experts to make necessary repairs to the damaged structures. By addressing the issues on time, you won’t only be creating suitable conditions for loan approval but will also ensure your property’s structural integrity. Eventually, this will help you prevent future damages as well.

What Is the Difference between WDO and WDI Inspections

The Wood-Destroying Organism (WDO) inspections and Wood-Destroying Insect (WDI) inspections differ in the scope of organisms they target. The WDO inspections are comparatively more comprehensive and focus on identifying different organisms that can damage wood. This includes insects like termites and fungi such as wood decay fungi. These inspections evaluate these organisms' presence and assess the damage's extent. In fact, the WDO inspector also identifies areas with suitable environment for these and future infestations to thrive.

On the other hand, WDI inspections specifically focus on detecting insects that destroy wood. These are primarily termites, carpenter ants, and wood-boring beetles. The WDI inspection report highlights the signs of these insect infestations and the extent of the damage. The report also recommends treatment and prevention measures. However, WDI inspections do not typically address fungi or other non-insect wood-destroying organisms.


Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) inspections are an important part of homeownership. These inspections are necessary for identifying and mitigating potential threats to wooden structures. These comprehensive evaluations go beyond just insects, encompassing a range of organisms. By thoroughly examining the property for signs of infestation, damage, and conducive conditions, WDO inspections provide you with essential information. Once you get the detailed report and expert recommendations, you can then take proactive measures to address existing issues and prevent future damage. As a result, you will safeguard your investments' integrity and value.

Discover peace of mind with Homesight, Inc.'s premier WDO Inspection service. Safeguard your investment and protect your property against wood-destroying organisms with our comprehensive evaluation. Schedule your WDO Inspection with Homesight, Inc. today and rest easy knowing your property is in capable hands.

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