Goals from Jordi Gomez and Hugo Rodallega lifted Wigan out of the bottom three as 10-man Wolves were beaten 2-0 to make it four successive Barclays Premier League defeats for Mick McCarthy's side.
Gomez put the hosts ahead at the DW Stadium with a brilliant free-kick in the 65th minute and Rodallega deflected in a second five minutes from time.
Wolves were up against it from the 11th minute, when captain Karl Henry was sent off for a shocking challenge on Gomez, but it was the Wigan midfielder who had the last laugh.
Neither side was able to take control in a scrappy opening, and Wigan found themselves temporarily without captain Antolin Alcaraz in only the seventh minute when he left the pitch to receive stitches in a head wound.
The numbers were then evened up four minutes later, but Henry's exit was to be permanent following a reckless challenge on Gomez.
And Wigan were in front in the 65th minute when Dave Edwards pulled back Charles N'Zogbia on the edge of the area and Gomez curled a superb free-kick into the top corner.
McCarthy went for broke with eight minutes to go, bringing on strike duo Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Marcus Bent for Edwards and Stephen Ward, but it was Wigan who sealed victory with a second goal five minutes from time.
N'Zogbia played a precision through ball for Rodallega, and the Colombian was able to claim the goal after Christophe Berra guided an attempted clearance onto his foot and beyond Hahnemann.