When asked why he got in the pest control business, James Tidwell leaned back in his chair, flashed a quick grin and gave a simple, concise and honest answer.
“I was hungry.”
Tidwell has owned and operated JTE Pest Control for nearly three decades and has guided the up-start business to be a successful entity.
Tidwell first got involved in pest control with Orkin in 1981 and stayed with the company for seven years. After moving on to American Buildings, Tidwell thought his day of pest control were over; but it wasn’t long until a few of his former customers came calling.
“Some of the people who I had done work for in the past asked if I would start my own company to spray their houses,” said Tidwell. “They paid me a year in advance to help get my started. I started JTE in 1990 and have been doing ever since.”
Tidwell still works full-time for American buildings and does his pest control rounds between two and four hours a day. Over the past few years, he has scaled the business back some but still enjoys working in the area no matter how difficult it is at times.
“The day can be very long,” said Tidwell. “At one time, I was handling 37 churches in a two-state area. It would take me about four whole days to get them all done. I used up all my Saturday’s then because I was working full time. The days are long and tough, but you meet so many interesting people.”
Meeting new people is Tidwell’s favorite part of the job.
Over the years, his company has allowed him to serve a wide variety of people, including celebrities.
“I love meeting new people,” Tidwell said with a grin. “I have had the opportunity to meet Air Force generals, flight surgeons, scientists, movie stars, musicians and everything in between. I have sprayed Lionel Richie’s house in Tuskegee. He is the biggest star I have ever been around.”
Tidwell started the company as a way for him to make a living, and that same dedication and determination still fuels him today.
The business has changed, but the same quality service remains intact.
“I wanted to be able to provide for my family,” said Tidwell. “When I first started at American Buildings, the work was sort of sporadic. I would be laid off three to four months at a time. What started out as a way to just get by, turned in to a full-time business. This business has provided me with a lot of things that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t do it.”
JTE offers quality pest control services and solutions in Barbour, Henry and Dale counties. For more information about their services, call 334.687.3898.