The R's halted a winless run of nine, which included seven defeats, thanks to goals from Heidar Helguson and Akos Buzsaky as Hugo Rodallega pinned one back for the Latics to make it 2-1 before Tommy Smith wrapped it up with a late finish.
Roberto Martinez's men now find themselves in a very precarious position at the bottom of the table after having their winless run extended to seven with four of them being losses, seeing them sit on a mere 15 points from their 22 matches.
QPR took the lead just after the half-hour mark when James McCarthy handled the ball in the area near the front post from an R's corner with Helguson stepping up to sneak it in past Ali Al Habsi who guessed the right way but could not keep it out.
On the stroke of half-time, QPR went two ahead when Buzsaky hit a brilliant 25-yard free-kick in off the post giving Al Habsi little chance but Wigan were able to get themselves back in the match in the 66th minute.
Rodallega produced a beautiful set-piece finish of his own to get things back on track for the visitors who should have fallen two behind again when another penalty was awarded when Gary Caldell held Helguson just inside the box with just under 15 minutes left. On this occasion, however, the Iceland international's spot kick was kept out by Al Habsi to again give the Latics a glimmer of hope.
But with nine minutes remaining that optimism was snuffed out when R's substitute Smith hit a stunning 30-yard thunderbolt into the top corner to wrap up the points for the home side who moved out of the drop zone and into 16th.
TRIBAL ASKS: Can Hughes do enough to keep QPR up? Is it curtains for Wigan?>
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