The efficacy of six entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) strains was tested in a laboratory study against soil-dwelling life stages of western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). The EPN strain collections screened included two Heterorhabditis bacteriophora species, i.e., H. bacteriophora HK3 (H.b H) and H. bacteriophora HB Brecan (H.b B), three Steinernema feltiae species, i.e., S. feltiae Sylt (S.f S), S. feltiae OBSIII (S.f O), and S. feltiae strain CR (S.f C), and the S. carpocapsae strain DD136 (S.c D). All soil-dwelling life stages of WFT were susceptible to the tested EPN strains. The most virulent strains were S.f S, S.c D, and H.b H. The S.f O strain was highly virulent against late second instar larvae and prepupae of WFT under high soil moisture conditions, but less effective against pupae under comparatively drier soil conditions. Results from dose rate experiments indicate that a comparatively high concentration of 400 infective juveniles (IJs) per cm(2) was needed to obtain high mortality in all soil-dwelling life stages of WFT. However, dose rates of 100-200 IJs/cm(2) already caused 30-50% mortality in WFT. The chances for combining EPNs with other biological control agents of WFT are discussed.