Upon close inspection, it’s rare to see an actual bug, she says. Instead of relying on itchy fingers or insect sightings, people should look for the eggs, also called nits. Lice lay these white ovals, less than one millimeter long, about a quarter of an inch away from the scalp. They are sticky, round on one side and pointy on the other. But not everything that looks like a nit at first glance is, in fact, a nit. The trick is to hold up the possible egg against a pure white background. If it blends in, that’s actually dandruff or deposits of oily secretions from the head. If the little ball appears brown in contrast to the pale backdrop, it’s a louse egg sac.