In the United States, Medical maggots are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as a prescription-only medical device. With acceptance of premarket notification 510(k) 033391 in January 2004, the Food and Drug Administration granted Dr. Ronald Sherman permission to produce and market maggots for use in humans or other animals as a prescription medical device for the following indications: "For debriding non-healing necrotic skin and soft tissue wounds, including pressure ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, neuropathic foot ulcers, and non-healing traumatic or post surgical wounds." Monarch Labs (located in Irvine, California) is the exclusive supplier of Medical maggots (disinfected Phaenicia sericata larvae) for maggot therapy in the United States. Medical maggots represent the first living organism ever allowed by the Food and Drug Administration for production and marketing as a prescription medical device.
There is a depiction of the ancient practice of maggot therapy in the 2000 film Gladiator. In this film directed by Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe's character, Maximus, a Roman general, suffers a deep laceration to his shoulder from a sword during a charge by a Praetorian guard on horseback while trying to escape his arrest. After being found and captured by slave traders, one of Maximus' fellow slaves, Juba, a Numidian hunter played by Djimon Hounsou, treats Maximus' infected shoulder wound by placing and leaving maggots on his open wound. Upon awakening and noticing the maggots on his gaping shoulder wound, Maximus tries to remove the maggots but Juba admonishes him to leave them there as they will "clean" his wound. Maximus, too weakened to protest, complies. Several days later, the wound is depicted as clean and healing and Juba proclaims his wound better. Maximus agrees with the sentiment and is otherwise restored to being a healthy, if somewhat laconic, disgruntled, fierce gladiator in a remote North African province. While the depiction of maggot therapy in the film Gladiator differs greatly from modern maggot therapy medical practice in not employing sterile maggots, special wound dressings, and being placed by a licensed medical practitioner, the cost-effective, safe and efficacious results of applying maggots to treat a severe wound in such a primitive setting are all hallmarks of modern maggot therapy.
A major problem also arises when maggots turn into flies and start the life cycle over again. Within a few generations the number of maggots grows exponentially and becomes a serious problem. Professionals can remove maggots or many over-the-counter bug sprays can be used to deter flies and maggots. Keeping trash in a sealed container and using a garbage disposal or freezing rotting leftovers until rubbish collection day helps prevent infestation.