Caterpillars (or worms) eating my marigolds - what are they?

New Milford, NJ

I've attached a photo of the little buggers.
They are about 1/2 to 1 inch long w brown stripes.
They're on my marigolds in flower boxes & on my potted daisies.
They seem to burrow into the flower & right down thru the stem, leaving behind pepper-like excrement along with a rotten flower.
I've tried spraying with Ortho max bug be gone (local nursery sold me) - but they're still here!
How do I get rid of these things before I have no flowers left???

Thumbnail by kpearse
Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

My suggestion would be to post the pic in the insect id forum and try to find out what it is. You may find out that it's a beautiful butterfly that may be worth sacrificing a few flowers for. If it turns out to be a very damaging pest you'll know better what it is and what means of removal are more effective than spraying with an ineffective insecticide that may cause harm to the beneficials in your garden. Other than that, I'm sorry - I have no idea what it is or what to do about it. Hope someone can id for you.

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