Wood Destroying Organisms Certificate

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What is a Wood Destroying Organisms/Insects Certificate?

A Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO) Clearance Certificate is a document that certifies that a property is free of wood-destroying organisms, such as termites, carpenter ants, and wood-boring beetles. This is typically done by a licensed pest control professional or a certified home inspector who has experience in identifying and treating Wood Destroying Organisms.

Banks often require entomological clearance certificates in areas with known woodborer problems before they will finance a property transaction. The sales agreement between a seller and purchaser will normally include a clause that requires the seller to produce a valid Certificate of Clearance for Wood-destroying Insects/Organisms.

Wood destroying organisms are pretty much anything that can cause damage to the structural timber of your home or business. Structural timber includes any wooden fences and gates, balconies or verandas as well as Lapa’s and Wendy houses, wooden floors and beams, etc.


The WDO certificate (also referred to as a Beetle Certificate) is not to be confused with a Pest Control Certificate. A Pest Control Certificate is where a Pest Controller inspects your premises for the presence of public health pests; i.e. Cockroaches, Flies, Ants and Rodents, etc.

Contact our sister company, Express Pest Control, for all domestic and commercial pest control services and solutions:

wood destroying organisms / insects certificate
Why Do You Need A Beetle (WDO) CoC?

The Entomologist Certificates for wood destroying insects are commonly required by banks for property transfers in the coastal areas of South Africa, Cape Town included.

A clause in the agreement between a seller and purchaser requires the seller to produce a valid Entomologist Certificate for Wood Destroying Organisms, like wood borer and subterranean termites (white ants).

The Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO) Clearance Certificate is a document that certifies that a property is free of wood-destroying organisms, such as termites, carpenter ants, and wood-boring beetles.

How Long Is The WDO Certificate Valid For?

The Wood Destroying Organisms Certificate, also known as a Beetle COC, is valid for three months from the date it was issued.

It is recommended to do a beetle inspection on an annual basis, to detect any wood-destroying insects on your property and avoid damage to your property, or additional costs involved in treating and eradicating wood destroying insects.

What Is Covered By The WDO Certificate?

The organisms that require fumigation to obtain a clearance certificate will be determined by the purchase offer.
The WDO inspector would inspect for wood-destroying insects that have the potential to cause significant damage to dry-seasoned timber.

The following wood-destroying pests are included when a qualified pest control inspector inspects a property for a WDO certificate:

  • West Indian drywood termites and Brown house borers
  • Italian beetles and Common furniture beetles
  • Powder post beetles and False furniture beetles
  • Subterranean termites and any WDO of economic significance in accessible areas
  • Harvester termites

Because of the stringent requirements for a Certificate of Clearance of wood-destroying insects, the recommended treatment must also allow for the possibility of latent infestation and infestation in inaccessible areas.

If an infestation is found, the affected timbers or structures will need treatment to eradicate the infestation before an Entomologists Certificate may be issued.

Bugs & Sparks has qualified wood destroying organism inspectors, and we are registered with the South African Pest Control Association as Inspectors for Wood-Destroying Organisms.

What Is NOT Covered By The WDO Certificate??

The Beetle Certificate of Clearance specifically pertains to the absence of wood-destroying beetles and termites in a building. As a result, it does not address other general pests like ants, rodents, flies, cockroaches, fleas, fishmoths, lice, bees, birds, and other non-wood-destroying insects or animals. These types of pests require different types of inspections or certifications to ensure their absence. Therefore, it is important to understand the scope of the Beetle Certificate of clearance and to obtain additional inspections or certifications to address other types of pests as needed.

The Procedure and Cost to Obtain a Wood Destroying Organism/Insect Certificate


The price of a wood destroying pests inspection is usually a fixed fee depending on which legitimate contractible company or individual you appointed for the COC inspection/s.

At Bugs & Sparks, we offer a very competitive inspection fee of R550. Further discounts are applicable when multiple COC inspections are requested for the same property (i.e. Electrical, Water, Gas, or Electric Fence).



If an infestation is detected, we would recommend that the affected timber be removed from the property, if possible, to save costs on treatment to eradicate the infestation. If the affected timber (i.e. Wendy house, temporary wooden fence/latte, etc.) is removed from a property or building, then the pest control operator will be allowed to issue a clearance certificate.

  • Complete our online inspection instruction form, and our back office will make contact and arrange a convenient day & time for the inspection/s to take place.
  • An authorised and licensed WDO inspector will examine all exposed and reachable timbers within a 50-meter distance of your property located in Cape Town.
  • Bugs & Sparks will provide a digital inspection report, including pictures, that details all the timber or structures that the inspector inspected. At this point, we will also invoice the client for the inspection/s (unless the “payment on transfer” option was chosen)
  • If the WDO inspector discovers any infestations, we will inform you and provide you with a quote for the recommended treatments to eradicate the infestation.
  • Once you (the client) agree to the quote, our qualified pest control operators will carry out the necessary pest control treatment, after which we will issue a wood-destroying organism/insect certificate.
  • OR, if you don’t accept our quote, you can choose to engage another qualified WDO inspector or pest control operator to perform the treatment and issue the COC. In this case, the inspection fee is still payable to Bugs & Sparks.

Do you need a Wood Destroying Insect (WDO) Certificate in Cape Town?