The bugs seem to love me - and I do occasionally use the Strong DEET stuff - but i also use - All Terrain Herbal Armor
. It seems to work really well as for me as while it is active i don't get any bites (whereas normally as soon as i step outside right now and I'll have 1-2 mosquitos hit me within 60 seconds of leaving my car).
Only downsides i've run into - it only lasts about 1.5-2hrs then you need to re-apply (but you can just do spots not smear it all over). Upsides - smells a LOT nicer than DEET, I don't have to worry about what chemicals are flying where, and if i accidentally get it on my gear doesn't seem to kill the bite. DEET STINKS and kills your bite if it gets on gear/hands/bait by accident (at least thats what i've found).
I know that several studies just came out recently that recommend using lemon eucalyptus oil/repellents - but i haven't had a chance to try it out yet.
I do use Permethrin on my camping gear regularly - usually pretreating once or twice a season at home prior to trips - didn't used to but ran into a camping trip where we had pin-head tics everywhere and been a believer since.