Can you shampoo her? If so, I would suggest doing that first. A flea's exoskeleton is actually aggravated by water, and they "break" if exposed long enough - it doesn't do anything for the eggs, but helps you kill the adults that lay them. There are many shampoos out there for the dog with allergens - I've found Garner & Fructis, while not animal labeled, has always done remarkable for my sensitive pups. For a really bad flea case, you would follow up with a topical control, which isn't an option for you.
I've never used DE on any of my dogs because they have never had fleas be an issue - but it was sold for a long time at my store and many people swore by it as it does a similar thing to water and destroys the exoskeleton of the flea. I wouldn't skip the bath though, as that will really address a good portion of them.
P.S I've used Borax before (I wintered in the South and for two days had fleas.. it was awesome) and it worked very well. It doesn't require bathing so you might want to think of it: it is also cheap. Vaccuum your house too - part of the problem with fleas is reinfestation: if you're in the south you probably know that but your couch is always the biggest offender - followed by the doggie bed. The D.E wont kill your eggs either and fleas are notorious at "re-spawning".
You could also try any of the following as sprays:
DE works very very well. I used it all the time for tiny tiny kittens and puppies that are too young for anything else. You need to treat all 3 areas at the same time:
dog-DE all over down to the skin, preferably after bathing in dawn dish soap
house-vacuum really well,pitch the bag outside, then spread DE in all carpets/upholstery-wash all bedding in HOT water
yard-if the ground isn't frozen hard, spray the yard too- all on the same day to break the cycle
~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
~Vet Tech Student
Mom to : 1 Horse, 4 Dogs, 3 Cats
Thanks All, I think I'll try the DE on her. Maybe do a patch on her back just to make sure she doesn't have a reaction to it. If that goes well I'll do the whole dog. And add some DE to borax in rugs and vacume bag. All this talk of fleas is making me itch!!