Somewhere outside our office building a "sound repellant"(I guess that's what they are called) against rats or moles has been installed.

Due to its high frequency, only some of us can hear the device cheep every now and then and ONLY when the window is open. But due to currently high temperatures, we have to open the window thus have to hear said noise (or accept utterly stuffy and warm rooms).

Some already reported the noise for impairing the working climate but its always being dismissed for being "necessary to keep rodents away" or "inaudible" (because they can't hear it)

Is there any option/argument to go against this since authorities and most of the employees can't hear it and rodent protection seems to be inevitable?

EDIT:As mentioned by Lilienthal, the way I formulated the question is a bit too "open" though I actually mean what he suggested:

how can I effectively argue that the device should be removed / deactivated during work hours?

  • 4
    did you try a an active noise canceling headphone ? You can go to your HR and demand some sort of protection against the high pitched noise and if you are in the US, I am more or less sure that they have to accommodate you, as this is a medical condition, i.e., hearing higher frequencies than others. They might want to relocate you to a different side of the office or another building or they can sound proof your environment or your ears, if it is possible.
    – MelBurslan
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 14:31
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    Bizarrely, non-action on the company's part could actually be a form of discrimination since it's a device that will only affect young employees. Anyway, "what are my options" is a bit open ended of a question and we prefer questions with practical answers like "how can I effectively argue that the device should be removed / deactivated during work hours?"
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 14:36
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    Is "ITHight" a special jargon for this? Suggested re-titling: "Distracting high-pitched noises from anti-rodent device"
    – Brandin
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 15:32
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    Could get a cat and then the cat allergy people would complain and bits of rodent might be left lying around, but at least the noise would be gone.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 9:31
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    Noise cancelling headphones. What if it was some other noise from another employer outside that you couldn't control? It wouldn't be your employer's responsibility to deal with it. Also, if OP is in the US, there is no such thing as age discrimination for those under 40 so @Lilienthal 's comment may not apply. Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 17:03

2 Answers 2


I don't think you can effectively argue for removal or deactivation. The company has a rodent problem and this is the solution they've settled on and are paying for. You could effectively argue the negative effects the solution is having on workers that can hear it and argue that a solution needs to be explored and implemented. Offering up solutions is much more effective than identifying problems.

Offer to head up a committee to perform the due diligence, with the goal to discover and define a cost effective solution to mitigate or eliminate the negative effects on workers. You should identify more than one solution and each solution should be described and ranked based on effectiveness and cost to implement. Ask for a commitment to implement one of the proposals, once identified.

As others have questioned, check your local/state/federal labor laws to see if there are any remedies already defined and bring those to the table as well. Be careful though - you want resolution, not conflict. So if you present these laws without any type of solution, you are just presenting a bigger problem to management. Offering up a solution along with the authority of law as a basis for implementation will be much more palatable.

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    Also these devices have mixed-results depending on the actual pest, so in addition to finding alternatives, you could research this topic and argue about their efficacy. Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 7:38

Make sure that you put your complaint in writing, with a note about how it is affecting your performance. When performance reviews happen you can then point to it if they question your productivity.

Beyond that unless it's actually doing you harm there probably isn't a lot you can do. If they don't care about productivity that's up to them. If it is causing you discomfort then it is a Health and Safety issue and should be raised as such.

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