Nanotechnology offers many novel infection-control strategies that may help prevent and treat antimicrobial-resistant bacterial infections. Here, we synthesized polydopamine, photothermal-nanoparticles (PDA-NPs) without further surface-functionalization to evaluate their potential with respect to biofilm-control. Most ESKAPE-panel pathogens in suspension with photothermal-nanoparticles showed three- to four-log-unit reductions upon Near-Infra-Red (NIR)-irradiation, but for enterococci only less than two-log unit reduction was observed. Exposure of existing Staphylococcus aureus biofilms to photothermal-nanoparticles followed by NIR-irradiation did not significantly kill biofilm-inhabitants. This indicates that the biofilm mode of growth poses a barrier to penetration of photothermal-nanoparticles, yielding dissipation of heat to the biofilm-surrounding rather than in its interior. Staphylococcal biofilm-growth in the presence of photothermal-nanoparticles could be significantly prevented after NIR-irradiation because PDA-NPs were incorporated in the biofilm and heat dissipated inside it. Thus, unmodified photothermal nanoparticles have potential for prophylactic infection-control, but data also constitute a warning for possible development of thermo-resistance in infectious pathogens.