Squirrel trapping is really not as simple as people would like to think. More often than not we are called out on jobs to trap for squirrels after the homeowners have already tried and failed. This makes our job a lot harder if the squirrels have been educated to avoid the trap.
If there is a squirrel in your attic it probably is a Mother. She is scoping out the attic for a place to have her babies away from predators and bad weather or she has already had babies and they are already in your attic.
A problem we are often faced with is if we catch a female squirrel and it is confirmed that she is still nursing then we have to talk to the homeowner about our choices:
1) We can take her away and go up in the attic for the slim chance that we might find the nest with the small babies.
2) Return the Mom to the attic and let her continue nursing and when enough time has elapsed and then we can try to resume trapping and hopefully catch the family. The goal at this point is to seal up the home so when she and her babies leave they cannot return. This way nothing dies in the attic causing additional expenses for dead animal recovery.
If the noise is happening at night time it could be Mom Squirrel with Babies waking up to feed, Rats or Flying squirrels. If the noise is morning/daytime it typically is squirrels since the other two (rats & flying squirrels) are nocturnal.
Another critical component is the trap used and the bait used to lure the squirrels to the trap. This is one step shy of rocket science a lot of people think. I have seen what goes into the efforts of the trappers for the different baits and it makes me laugh when someone calls and asks “what do you use for bait…peanut butter?” I wished it were that simple. There are so many factors that go into lure or bait for each critter. They use different bases taking into consideration any potential critters that could be attracted to it that we do not want to trap.
With all of this said, before you attempt trapping take all of this into consideration. I am of the opinion if you are dealing with squirrels — pay someone to trap.