In Anglo-Saxon England, around the year 1000 A.D., fleas were as much a problem as they had ever been. There were various suggestions on how to get rid of them, of which some of the most amusing were to lock the flea-ridden clothes of the person inside a chest or to put sheepskins around the infested bed. The fleas would hopefully jump onto the whitish sheepskin and thus allow the tormented person to squish them to death.
As with the Elizabethans, the anglo-Saxons didn't really believe in washing their bodies much. In fact, monks were said to have a maximum of five baths a year, and that was considered to be overdoing it. It appears that at least one commentator of the time may have cottoned on to something when he observed that the Danish habit of bathing and combing the hair every Saturday seemed to score the Danish men points with the women.
Of course, there was no concept of hygiene as we know it. A document of the time advises that if some food fell off your plate by accident, the best thing you could do was to pick it up, make the sign of the cross, season it well and pop it into your mouth. Clearly, the sign of the cross was the protection from anything you wished to be protected from...
A great book on how people lived then.