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Diatomaceous earth (DE) is available at Blue Seal, Tractor Supply, and other farm stores. The DE with added bentonite clay or calcium bentonite works too. Get food grade, not the stuff at department stores because those have added chemicals.
Pour a little in a bowl, dip your fingers in the bowl to get some of the powder to cling to your fingers. Take that powder and rub it into your pet’s fur.
CAUTION: Don’t get diatomaceous earth too close to your pet’s (or your) eyes or nose. It is made of ground shells, and even though the powder is fine, the particles have sharp edges that can damage eyes and the respiratory system if inhaled.
This is just my opinion about the commercial flea treatment. I only know my experience with it.