The smaller tea tortrix, Adoxophyes honmai (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is an economically important pest of tea in Japan. Previous work showed that a fast-killing nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) isolated from A. orana (AdorNPV) and a slow-killing NPV isolated from A. honmai (AdhoNPV) are both infectious to A. honmai larvae. Field application of these different NPVs was conducted against an A. honmai larval population in tea plants, and the control efficacy and transmission rate of the two NPVs were compared. The slow-killing AdhoNPV showed lower field efficacy, in terms of preventing damage caused by A. honmai larvae against the tea plants, than the fast-killing AdorNPV. However, AdhoNPV had a significantly higher horizontal transmission rate than AdorNPV. These results show that AdorNPV is suitable as an inundative agent, while AdhoNPV is an appropriate inoculative agent.