Deet (or a 12 guage) WILL mess with their sensory mechanisms. You donít have to use very strong Deet if you are not going to be out there long. The stronger it is the longer it last but you should use caution with small children and only use what you need to protect them.
A pet tip: put some vinegar in your pets bath plus use a spray bottle with a mixture of water and vinegar on their legs and sides to help them not be so attractive to pest before tromping through the wood and dell. I use (since I wear sneakers a lot), gators and a spray bottle of vinegar so I will not be sooooo attractive and Boy does it work. Iím not even close to being attractive. Deet WILL eat up that plastic watch (anyone want to buy a drawer full of slightly used plastic watches with opaque crystals ?) Yes, Skeeters (Mosquitoes to those who can spell it) ARE attracted to dark colors and carbon dioxide, plus movement and light color clothing. I guess no clothing would be even worse. Chiggers (microscopic demon larva that emit a saliva that liquefies your flesh ) hang out as far as they can just waiting for Geoíers, who donít tuck in their pant legs or wear Gators or who hate long sleeved shirts (like me), to brush by. I donít mind if they hitch a ride on the outside of my pants but not on the inside. Yep! I sure know a lot about chiggers, and ticks, and skeeters and horse flies, and snakes, and spiders, and scorpions, and poison ivy, and poison sumac, and black nats, and poison oak, andÖÖ.
That my friends, is why I mostly roam around in the winter.
In the winter, being attractive is NOT a bad thing
Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.