Do-It-Yourself medicinal maggot laboratory for isolated communities

Medical supply chain interruptions and lack of healthcare providers in isolated communities demand new approaches to wound care. Rather than relying on outside help, MedMagLabs developed in partnership with citizen scientists easy methods for the production of medicinal maggots in low-resource healthcare settings with local expertise and resources.

The Production Manual describes in simple language what to do so that people who are not scientists or doctors can understand. Every production step is also explained with drawings for people who have difficulties reading these instructions.

You don’t need expensive equipment or a laboratory to produce safe medicinal maggots. This Production Manual explains how to use common products and objects you can find in your community or you can buy from your local market.

The Production Manual comes in two parts. In Part A you learn how to collect the right types of fly and how to keep healthy colonies for a long time. In Part B you learn how to produce safe medicinal maggots from fly eggs that you harvest from your fly colonies.

The Production Manual includes twenty illustrated User Manuals that correspond with each of the twenty Production Manual fact sheet.

User Manuals (Part A) How to collect and care for medicinal flies

A1: How to collect medicinal flies from the wild
A2: How to trap medicinal flies
A3: How to keep adult flies
A4: How to feed adult flies
A5: How to construct a liquid food station (Type 1)
A6: How to construct a liquid food station (Type 2)
A7: How to harvest eggs for fly breeding
A8: How to construct a maggot cage
A9: How to feed maggots
A10: How to care for fly pupae

User Manuals (Part B) How to produce medicinal maggots for maggot therapy

B1: How to disinfect objects with bleach
B2: How to disinfect objects with heat
B3: How to construct a clean workbench
B4: How to prevent contamination
B5: How to harvest and separate eggs
B6: How to disinfect fly eggs
B7: How to construct incubation containers
B8: How to prepare the containers for incubation
B9: How to incubate disinfected fly eggs
B10: How to package and transport medicinal maggots


If you follow these instructions closely, you will be able to produce medicinal maggots that are safe and help people with chronic wounds. However, note that this Production Manual has been written for communities affected by war, disaster, and deep poverty who do not have access to doctors, nurses, and good wound care.

If you live in a country with a good healthcare system and strict rules and regulations for the production and sale of medical goods, then you must not produce your own medicinal maggots.

Development of the Production Manual and User Manuals

The procedures and methods described in the Production Manual and related User Manuals are based on a considerable body of scientific literature. The challenge was to ensure that existing best practice in fly husbandry and medicinal maggot production is translated safely into the low-resource environment. The chosen materials, methods and procedures needed to be simple, cheap, and perform well for the user and the flies, and produce high-quality medicinal maggots. Read more about the development of the DIY-Lab.

(CC BY 4.0) Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge content is provided under creative commons license CC BY 4.0. This applies specifically to the banner image and page text. The Production Manual and User Manuals are published under a CC BY-ND license. The copyright for content on other pages of this site will vary.