Abstract A serine protease and an enzyme preparation consisting of six chitinases, previously semi-purified from a liquid culture of Paecilomyces lilacinus strain 251, were applied to Meloidogyne javanica eggs to study the effect of the enzymes on eggshell structures. Transmission electron microscopic studies revealed that the protease and chitinases drastically altered the eggshell structures when applied individually or in combination. In the protease-treated eggs, the lipid layer disappeared and the chitin layer was thinner than in the control. The eggs treated with chitinases displayed large vacuoles in the chitin layer, and the vitelline layer was split and had lost its integrity. The major changes in the eggshell structures occurred by the combined effect of P. lilacinus protease and chitinases. The lipid layer was destroyed; the chitin layer hydrolyzed and the vitelline layer had lost integrity. The effect of P. lilacinus protease and chitinase enzymes on the hatching of M. javanica juveniles was also compared with a commercially available bacterial chitinase. The P. lilacinus protease and chitinase enzymes, either individually or in combination, reduced hatching of M. javanica juveniles whereas a commercial bacterial chitinase had an enhancing effect. Some juveniles hatched when the eggs were exposed to a fungal protease and chitinase mixture. We also established that P. lilacinus chitinases retained their activity in the presence of endogenous protease activity.