We had Afghan Hounds before topical flea medications were invented, and because one minute of furious scratching could ruin a years worth of show coat, I did some pretty weird things to keep the fleas away. I wasn't into standard pesticide dips , knowing even then how harmful they are to dogs, humans, and the environment and so I tried a variety of homemade solutions to keep my showdogs flea free.
For example, I used to grow flea repelling herbs like pennyroyal, rue, and garlic and put them in little muslin bags and tie them onto the dogs' collars...mostly that just kept the vampires away....
But the best homemade flea repellant was made using citrus rinds, orange, lemon, lime, even grapefruit and packing the rinds very tightly into a mason jar, covering the rinds with water and setting the jar into the sun for 3 weeks, shaking occasionally.
Then I put the scented water into a glass spray bottle and sprayed the dogs everytime we went somewhere I thought they could pick up fleas.
The best part was they smelled divine, no doggy odor and on rainy days, damp Afghan Hound coat can really smell.
These days I am lazy and since my neighbor wholesales essential oils I get an organic essential orange oil from her and mix 30 drops in one ounce of vodka, mix with 8oz. spring water and put in a glass spray bottle.
If you read this blog you know I like to use lavender spray alot, but it is kind of girly so I often use this organic orange oil spray as a dog cologne for Puff. It keeps him smelling super fresh and I prefer it to store bought colognes, not only is it much cheaper, but I know exactly what I am spraying on him.