--This works best if you are at level 70, as you'll have advanced invisibility and super chain blast--
Equip : Psi-Blast, Invisibility, Sheild
When you hear the rats, look around until you spot one. Immediately use invisibility and psi-blast it. If you have chain blast this will eliminate 3-6 of them.
If you still hear the rats squeaking or scrambling around, wait until you see another. Repeat until all rats are gone.
If for some reason you can't find any of the rats until they are too close & about to explode, use sheild to protect yourself. You'll still get confused, but it shouldn't damage your health. Unfortunately, as you said, this won't work well of you re surrounded by many.
As a last resort, jump to another platform and start again.
No, there is not a thin line between love and hate. There is, in fact, a Great Wall of China with armed sentries posted every twenty feet between love and hate.