A low-intensity electromagnetic field of extremely high frequency has inhibitory and stimulatory effects on bacteria, including Enterococcus hirae. It was shown that the low-intensity (the incident power density of 0·06 mW cm−2) electromagnetic field at the frequencies of 51·8 GHz and 53 GHz inhibited E. hirae ATCC 9790 bacterial growth rate; a stronger effect was observed with 53 GHz, regardless of exposure duration (0·5 h, 1 h or 2 h). Scanning electron microscopy analysis of these effects has been done; the cells were of spherical shape. Electromagnetic field at 53 GHz, but not 51·8 GHz, changed the cell size—the diameter was enlarged 1·3 fold at 53 GHz. These results suggest the difference in mechanisms of action on bacteria for electromagnetic fields at 51·8 GHz and 53 GHz.