The Amazing Sofitel at Taba

This year we decided to do a slightly different type of holiday to normal and booked on a package trip to Taba in Egypt. Normally our trips are very low key and we love to spend time just  emerging into the local culture of the places we go, but this time we decided to have an all inclusive and a bit of luxury. Having scoured the Internet, we found Thompson’s did a fantastic deal for 7 nights at the fabulous Sofitel in Taba Heights. After a 5 hour flight, a short coach ride etc, we ended up at the hotel….pure luxury!

After a few days just chilling, the mind starts wandering back to normal things…like pest control. The thing is, you just can’t stop sometimes. For instance, the first job on arrival at our room was to perform a bedbug check. This is something I tell all our client who travel to do. I also sprayed our cases when we unpacked. A 50% DEET formulation mosquito repellent is perfect for this, it will not kill them but stops them from hitching a lift home with you. I am glad to say, the 5 star Sofitel was bedbug free!

Other things you notice are the lack of flies and mosquitoes – the bain of any holiday in a hot country. I soon discovered why, and fair play to the management of the hotel as they had implemented an integrated pest management program to proactively deal with the issue rather than waiting for a problem and then try to deal with it.

Fumigating in the grounds

Each evening just before dusk, a team of guys walked the garden areas and fogged the vegetation where pesky flies and mosquitoes wait for the sun to go down. They also actively sprayed the pathside light fittings with insecticide, so anything landing near the lights would be killed by a residual insecticide. This also seemed to stop the ants as well, a common problem in hotels.

Fly Traps hidden around the grounds

Other measures like flytraps placed strategically around key areas, all out of sight as well, were everywhere and doing a great job of catching loads of flies.

Bird control is also a key issue. With open restaurants it is vital not to have birds landing on tables and stealing food (and spreading diseases of course) and pooing everywhere. Bird netting had been deployed around the dining areas and were pretty effective all in all at keeping the birds out. They also had a very ingenious method which I am investigating which could prove very interesting for England … Watch this space for more details!

Bait Station – Egypt style

An active rodent control plan is obviously in place too. I noted quite a few bait stations around the place – made from drain pipes to disguise them – filled with some substance which I guess was not bromodiolone, but the good thing is there were no signs of rodent activity at all – not sure if I would do it this way, being Wildlife Aware certified … So I guess Dr Alan Buckle has a bit more work to do in Egypt for CRRU!

Birds of Prey were nesting amongst the fake branches

Taba is a national wildlife reserve and as such has lots of birdlife and marine life, so I also spent lots of time watching the birds and fish. There were a pair of falcons nesting in one of the palm tree shaped comms towers which was great to see and they were very busy catching small birds, lizards and beetles, so I guess they had young to feed. They also kept the sparrows on their toes, every swoop sent theme scattering in all directions!

The reef was teaming with fish of all shapes, colours and sizes and we spent many hours just watching them. They are totally fearless as no fishing is allowed (shame as I would loved to hook into a few of the bigger ones) and they swam right up to you…truly amazing to get so close to them.

I did chat to the manager about the program he had in place and he was very pleased that all the efforts made to make his hotel pest free were working, he was also totally bemused that a pest controller had taken the time to speak to him about it.

So for all you hotel owners and managers out there, this place is an example of how to implement an integrated pest management program successfully, keeping your guests happy and pest free – it is one area you cannot scrimp on as having clients complain about birds, flies and mosquitoes really is not an option.

If you know any hotel managers who need an integrated pest management program, contact Rapid Pest Control now and we can help, but if you want a great holiday, go to the Sofitel Taba Heights and indulge in some luxury.