I've just signed up here, thinking about getting back into paddling after a 15 y or so break.
I've spent from a week up to a month in the Everglades and 10000
Islands, umm probably 22 or so of the years between 1978 and 2003.
The first 10 or so years in sea kayak and then in shoal draft sail boats.
I've never used a tour company but always did self guided trips about two thirds of the time alone.
Never did use any deet, a matter of personal preference and comfort, but always had what we call down here "mosquito coils".
The key is to *always* be ready to get in a tent or some sort of no-see-um netting by around 4 or 4:30 PM if there isn't a breeze.
There are great charts, despite some who say they aren't accurate, available.
If there's anything I can help you with, please ask.