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case study

Furniture Beetle & Woodworm Heat Treatment

Gables Farm

Dating back to the 1600's, Gables Farm had withstood centuries of weather before a fierce storm caused the collapse of the gable end and subsequent damage to other beams and walls.

The long-term erection of temporary scaffold roofing and high internal moisture content led to a heavy infestation of common furniture beetle and woodworm becoming established throughout the building, particularly in the roof timbers and within lathe and plaster ceilings and stoothing walls.

With an ambient relative humidity of 86.4% within the sealed structure, it was evident that moisture content was a key supporting factor in the development of the beetle infestation, which was now delaying the entire restoration programme.

Following a detailed survey visit and report, we provided a fixed price schedule and quotation to help get the project back on track.


Our solution acknowledged that the only way to definitively resolve the problem was to both eradicate the infestation and remove the excess moisture, a methodology supported by the British Standard BS7913 for the conservation of historic buildings.

It was also evident that with both centuries old large dimensional timbers and newer timberwork present, controlling the internal temperature and humidity would be key to avoid distortion, warping or cupping.

We employed two of our mobile self-powered trailer units, which in turn powered heat exchangers, systematically distributed to raise and maintain the internal temperature of the building. The high volume of airflow provided by our system ensured an even distribution of temperature throughout.

We established airtight seals throughout the structure, creating an internal envelope within the established scaffold frame that allowed us to precisely control both temperature and humidity throughout the programme.

Timber infestation heat treatment

The initial stage of the treatment focused on eradicating the infestation of common furniture beetle. Using controlled heat, we evenly raised the internal temperature of the structure to over 56°c.

Via a sophisticated network of data probes (many installed within structural timbers) and an even distribution of heat throughout, we could evidence temperatures within internal beams and various cavities that would traditionally be inaccessible.

By maintaining 'kill temperatures' for over an hour, we swiftly eradicated all stages of the beetle's life cycle, including adults, eggs, pupa and larva, thereby eliminating the risk of subsequent reinfestation.

'A professional in-depth report was provided by Trustheat, clearly demonstrating and highlighting the infestation and causation on site.

We would always recommend the treatment implemented by Trustheat, as it saves financial costs, duress and stress for occupants, as well as minimising the complaints procedure due to failure in duty of care claim'.

Peter Reeve
RICS Surveyor & Trustheat Client


Following completion of the infestation treatment we continued to heat the internal structure, with the focus now moving to the excess moisture content.

A series of apertures were created to allow the excess moisture being released from the structure to be evacuated by volume airflow and positive pressure.

Continually monitoring the internal temperature and RH in real time, we oversaw the removal of all excess structural moisture, with the data being used on completion to evidence a return to acceptable levels.

With the infestation eradicated and moisture removed, the approved contractors were free to recommence works, avoiding further delays and disruption for the resident.