Isolation, characterization and virulence of the culturable bacteria from entire tissues of larval Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) were studied to obtain new microbes for biological control. A total of 16 bacteria were isolated from living and dead larvae collected from different maize fields in the Eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey. The bacterial microbiota of O. nubilalis were identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (On1), Brevundimonas aurantiaca (On2), Chryseobacterium formosense (On3), Acinetobacter sp. (On4), Microbacterium thalassium (On5), Bacillus megaterium (On6), Serratia sp. (On7), Ochrobactrum sp. (On8), Variovorax paradoxus (On9), Corynebacterium glutamicum (On10), Paenibacillus sp. (On11), Alcaligenes faecalis (On12), Microbacterium testaceum (On13), Leucobacter sp. (On14), Leucobacter sp. (On15) and Serratia marcescens (On16) based on their morphological and biochemical characteristics. A partial sequence of the 16S rRNA gene was also determined to confirm strain identification. The highest insecticidal activities were obtained from P. aeruginosa On1 (80%), Serratia sp. On7 (60%), V. paradoxus On9 (50%) and S. marcescens On16 (50%) against larvae 14 days after treatment (p < 0.05). Also, the highest activity from previously isolated Bacillus species was observed from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis Xd3 with 80% mortality within the same period (p < 0.05). Our results indicate that P. aeruginosa On1, Serratia sp. On7, V. paradoxus On9, S. marcescens On16 and B. thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis Xd3 show potential for biocontrol of O. nubilalis.