So, how does DEET work?
A) Like an invisibility cloak, masking your smell to the mosquito.
B) Like a stink bug, making the wearer disgusting to smell.
C) Like a common cold, whereby the mosquito can’t smell properly.
And the answer is....D!
We don’t quite know, but all three of these answers seem to have some basis in the working theory, and is backed up by the scant research that has been done on the subject. What has been determined is that DEET interferes with the mechanism by which the mosquito uses to identify odors. It may “scramble” our emitted scent, in a way cloaking it, or, it may dull the mosquito's olfactory sensors, rendering it unable to detect the scents it seeks. So, in a way this too is a method of cloaking. DEET may also cloak by instead masking us with another, let’s say less desirable, smell. Research has yet to answer this part of the question.
Next obvious question is, is DEET harmful?
Believe it or not, according to the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the answer is a resounding NO.
(http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/consultations/deet/relevance.html). Unless you drink it.
But if you follow the application instructions you are good to go. Yee HAW.