Cereal cyst nematodes (CCNs) can cause significant economic yield losses alone or in combination with other biotic and abiotic factors. The damage caused by these nematodes can be enormous when they occur in a disease complex, particularly in areas subject to water stress. Of the 12 valid CCN species, Heterodera avenae, H. filipjevi, and H. latipons are considered the most economically important in different parts of the world. This paper reviews current approaches to managing CCNs via genetic resistance, biological agents, cultural practices, and chemical strategies. Recent research within the soil borne pathogen program of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center has focused on germplasm screening, the potential of this germplasm as sources of resistance, and how to incorporate new sources of resistance into breeding programs. Breeding for resistance is particularly complicated and difficult when different species and pathotypes coexist in nature. A lack of expertise and recognition of CCNs as a factor limiting wheat production potential, combined with inappropriate breeding strategies and slow screening processes limit genetic gains for resistance to CCNs.