Mitchell Jackson was part of the Jackson family that sold Jackson Paving to Wiregrass Construction awhile back. He tried the retirement life for awhile, but decided 52 was just a little too young to retire.
“I needed to feel relevant again,” he said.
So he’s back in business. He has bought a franchise of Mosquito Joe and will be offering his services spraying for mosquitoes, ticks and fleas in 4 territories this spring and summer. His areas include Guntersville, Scottsboro, Arab and Huntsville. Next year, he plans to add Decatur, Athens and Hartselle.
He has an office in Grant now and a shop on Camp Neyati Road where he will be adding an office eventually. His wife Denise is working in the business with him.
“A lot of people retire and enjoy it, but I found it just wasn’t exactly for me,” he said. “I traveled a little. I drove to California, took my shoes off and walked out on the Santa Monica pier and drove home.”
He said he will want to “ease up” again someday, but he’s excited about getting the new business going first.
“I looked around at a lot of different things and I kept coming back to mosquitoes,” he said. “There are a lot of mosquito-borne illnesses today. I thought it would be something I could do and maybe help people a little bit too.”
He had to go back to school at the age of 52 to get the licenses he needed. Going back to school is not exactly the kind of thing 50-year-olds look forward to.
“I took 20 courses through Perdue University and 4 through the State of Alabama,” Mitchell said. “It was something I worried about at first, whether I could do the school work. Those first 4 or 5 chapters were hard. I’d stay awake at night worrying about them. But I got in the books and it all came back to me. Alabama is very strict on getting licenses for pesticides and that’s why the schooling was required.”
There are similarities between his new business and his old business.
“I’m used to scheduling crews to go out,” he said. “I’m not used to answering the telephone and running a credit card machine. But I’m learning. Business is business.”
He thinks he will enjoy the work since it will involve both time in the field along with office work.
“You get to do a little bit of everything,” he said.
He has hired some technicians and has them in training now. He expects to be going full speed around April 1.
Mosquito Joe offers both all-natural and synthetic products to treat for mosquitoes, he said. Typically, a technician will walk the property with the homeowners, look for water sources where mosquitoes can breed and help develop the treatment plan.
Areas have to be re-treated every 14 to 21 days depending on the product used.
People interested in talking to Mr. Jackson about mosquito problems can reach him at 256-255-2931.