Surely you don't want to find squirrels in your attic. But you don't want to have to kill them to get rid of them, either! Luckily, you can remove squirrels from the attic (and keep them from coming back) without having to harm them. Here are the steps to follow in order to take this approach.
1. Look for a nest.
You may have just come upon the first squirrel "scouts" entering your attic to decide if it's a place they want to live. Or the squirrels may already have built a nest and settled down. Squirrel nests are not hard to spot, so take a good look around your attic. If you find what looks like a big bed made from torn insulation, pieces of straw or hay, or even wood shavings, then this is the nest. Gently check to ensure there are no babies inside. If there are baby squirrels inside the nest, you need to be careful not to separate the mom from those babies or else they won't survive. As annoying as it might be to do so, you may need to ignore the squirrels for a few more weeks until any babies are active and running around.
2. Trap the squirrels.
There are various live traps that you can use to capture squirrels. The simplest setup has a ramp with a spring leading into the trap. The squirrel will walk inside, passing over the ramp, and once it gets past the ramp to eat the treat inside, the ramp will rise and clap shut. The squirrel will have to be completely off the ramp for it to close, so there is little to no risk of harming the squirrel with this approach.
If you think you have more than one squirrel, invest in a few traps. Each morning, check them — and take them a few miles down the road to let the squirrels inside go. Re-set the traps each night until you no longer catch any squirrels.
3. Close off the attic.
Take a look around, and see where the squirrels might be coming in. It is common for them to enter through a hole in the wall or through a gap alongside a window. They may also come down the chimney. Patch any holes, caulk around your attic windows, and put a cap on the chimney. If you spot any more extensive damage to your roof or the eaves, hire a contractor to come make repairs. Board the spot off temporarily so squirrels cannot enter in the meantime.
By following the tips above, you can take a humane approach to squirrel removal. Contact a company that does residential wildlife removals in your area for assistance if needed.